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Israel Criticizes Argentina’s Recognition of Palestinian State

Israel criticized Argentina’s recognition of a Palestinian state, saying that only direct Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations can resolve the Middle East conflict.

“This is highly damaging interference” in peace efforts, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said today in a phone interview from Jerusalem. “It will not help at all to change the situation between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner sent a letter to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recognizing Palestine as a “free and independent state,” the Argentine Foreign Ministry said in a statement yesterday.

Argentina’s decision follows a Dec. 3 announcement by Brazil that it also recognizes a Palestinian state with its pre-1967 borders. The move doesn’t affect Argentina’s support for Israel, the statement said. Neighboring Uruguay said yesterday it will announce its recognition of a Palestinian state next year.

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