Santiago: Chile said on Friday it had recognised a Palestinian state, joining an endorsement by Latin American peers the United States has called premature and Israel has warned is harmful to the Middle East peace process.
Brazil became the first of several South American countries in recent weeks to recognise a Palestine state along pre-1967 borders. Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Ecuador have done the same and Mexico, Peru and Nicaragua are reported to be considering recognition.
"The Chilean government has adopted a resolution to recognize the state of Palestine as free, independent and sovereign," Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno told reporters, saying he hoped the recognition would help give fresh impetus to negotiations.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas thanked Brazil last week for recognising his nation`s statehood with its first embassy in the Americas and said other countries were following suit.
Palestinian authorities are hoping for a diplomatic domino effect to back their claim for a state in all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Israel disputes the Palestinian claim on all the West Bank and East Jerusalem, land it captured from Jordan in a 1967 war and has since extensively settled.
US-sponsored peace negotiations dating back two decades are predicated upon a Palestinian state being delineated with Israel`s consent.
Direct peace talks revived by Washington in September after a year`s suspension collapsed within weeks. A US drive to keep the process alive via third-party talks is in limbo.