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01:32, 27 June 2017 Tuesday
Update: 11:28, 05 December 2010 Sunday

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Brazil recognises Palestine, US fails on new Israel freeze
Brazil recognises Palestine, US fails on new Israel freeze

Brazil recognized the state of Palestine based on borders before Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967.

Israel on Saturday said it was disappointed by Brazil's decision to recognise a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

Brazil recognized on Friday the state of Palestine based on borders before Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967.

The foreign ministry said the recognition was in response to a request made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to President Lula da Silva earlier this year.

"The government of Israel expresses sadness and disappointment over the decision by the Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva a month before he steps down," a statement from the Israeli foreign ministry said.

The move by Brazil comes as peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians are on the brink of collapse following the end of a temporary ban on Jewish settlement building in the oocupied West Bank.

The decision is in line with Brazil’s historic support for United Nations resolutions demanding the end of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, and doesn’t detract from the country’s support for peace negotiations between the two sides, the ministry said in a statement.

”Considering that the demand presented by his Excellency (Abbas) is just and consistent with the principles upheld by Brazil with regard to the Palestinian issue, Brazil, through this letter, recognizes a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders,“ it said.

The letter refers to the ”legitimate aspiration of the Palestinian people for a secure, united, democratic and economically viable state coexisting peacefully with Israel.“

The international community backs Palestinian demands for a state in most of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and east Jerusalem, all territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

The letter says that over one hundred countries have recognized the Palestinian State, among them all of the Arab countries and most of the African, Asian and Eastern European ones, such as Russia, China, South Africa and India, among others.

However, the United States and most Western governments have yet to recognize a Palestinian state.

"No new freeze"

Abbas says he will not return to negotiations while Israel continues to build on occupied land the Palestinians want for a future state.

Over the last few weeks, Abbas has repeatedly said he would explore other options if peace talks with the Israelis collapse -- one of which would see him seeking United Nations' recognition of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.

On Thursday, a Palestinian official said Washington had officially informed them that attempts to secure a new Israeli settlement freeze had failed.

Abbas visited Brazil in 2005 and 2009, and Lula made the first ever trip by a Brazilian head of state to Palestine and Israel in March of this year.


Agencies

 

Related news reports:

Abbas says he may dissolve PA if no peace deal

Israel OKs more settlements, Abbas waits US answer for new freeze

Abbas says "no talks without E.Jerusalem building freeze"

Abbas asks UNSC to debate unabated Israel settlements

Palestine calls for recognition amid growing Israel settlements

Abbas says to declare state within year if no talks



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Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland
Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland

Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades said Monday he hopes to clinch a reunification deal laying out a new security blueprint for the divided island during a crunch summit in Switzerland this week. Anastasiades will attend United Nations-backed talks at the Alpine Crans-Montana ski resort Wednesday with "complete determination and goodwill... to achieve a desired solution", he said in a statement. He said he hopes to "abolish the anachronistic system of guarantees and intervention rights", with a deal providing for the withdrawal of the Turkish army. The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded its northern third in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece. Turkey maintains around 35,000 troops in northern Cyprus. The so-called guarantor powers of Turkey, Britain and Greece retain the right to intervene militarily on the island. Greek and Turkish Cypriots are at odds over a new security blueprint, but their leaders are under pressure to reach an elusive peace deal. "I am going to Switzerland to participate in the Cyprus conference, with the sole aim and intent of solving the Cyprus problem," Anastasiades said. Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is also set to attend the summit, which is expected to last at least 10 days. Greece, Turkey and Britain will send envoys along with an observer from the European Union. UN-led talks on the island hit a wall in late May after the sides failed to agree terms to advance toward a final summit. Unlocking the security question would allow Anastasiades and Akinci to make unprecedented concessions on core issues. But they have major differences on what a new security blueprint should look like. Anastasiades's internationally recognised government, backed by Athens, seeks an agreement to abolish intervention rights, with Turkish troops withdrawing from the island on a specific timeline. Turkish Cypriots and Ankara argue for some form of intervention rights and a reduced number of troops remaining in the north. Turkish Cypriots want the conference to focus on broader issues of power-sharing, property rights and territory for the creation of a new federation. Much of the progress to date has been based on strong personal rapport between Anastasiades and Akinci, leader of the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. But that goodwill has appeared frayed in the build-up to their meeting in Switzerland. The Greek Cypriot presidential election next February has also complicated the landscape, as has the government's search for offshore oil and gas, which Ankara argues should be suspended until the negotiations have reached an outcome.