US says recognition of Palestinian state premature

Ahram Online, Saturday 11 Dec 2010

Recognition by Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay of a Palestinian state is rejected by the US and Israel as a step that might hinder peace.

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A Palestinian protestor holding a Palestinian flag stands in front of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank (AP)
Recognition of a Palestinian state by Latin America's three socialist countries — Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay — appears to be irking both Israel and its US guardian ally.
"We believe such recognition is premature," William Burns, US under secretary of state for political affairs, told reporters in the Chilean capital Santiago.

"It's only through negotiation between the parties themselves, Palestinians and Israelis, that we'll be able to realize the two-state solution."

Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, who was due to meet with Burns Saturday, criticised the remarks.

"I think it's unpropitious that once again the United States has publicly expressed an opinion about sovereign actions taken by the Argentine Republic," Timerman told Reuters.

Israel this week called the Latin American triad's recognition of a Palestinian state "highly damaging interference" by countries that were never part of the Middle East peace process.

Israel disputes the Palestinian claim to all the West Bank and East Jerusalem, land it captured from Jordan in the 1967 war and has since occupied and extensively settled.
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