Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Honduras, El Salvador Recognize Palestine As UN Vote Nears
Honduras recognized on Friday the state of Palestine, the Palestinian Authority-based WAFA news agency reported.
According to the report, Honduras sent a letter to PA President Mahmoud Abbas in which it said that Honduras recognizes the state of Palestine based on the 1949 armistice lines.
Honduras also stressed in the letter it will support the PA’s statehood bid at the United Nations in September.
Abbas reportedly thanked Honduras for its decision and expressed hope that its recognition of Palestine will bolster bilateral relations.
On Thursday, El Salvador recognized Palestine as an independent state, with President Mauricio Funes saying the decision “was made in the context of the profound respect El Salvador has for sovereign decisions by members of the United Nations, the majority of whom have recognized the Palestinian state.”
Funes said he hoped his decision would help foster peace in Israel, adding that he supported Israel’s right to maintain secure borders.
Both countries’ support comes as the PA is preparing to present its statehood bid to the United Nations on September 20 and is recruiting countries to support the bid. WAFA noted that the announcements by both Honduras and El Salvador are crucial, as having Central America and Caribbean states support the bid would give the PA two-thirds of the number of votes needed at the United Nations General Assembly.
Meanwhile, the PA’s chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Friday that that the U.S. Consul-General in Jerusalem, Daniel Rubinstein, had warned him that the U.S. would cut aid to the PA if they proceed with their unilateral bid for statehood.
According to Erekat, Rubinstein told him that the U.S. Congress will take “punitive measures” if the PA proceeds with seeking recognition of statehood.