Shlomo Shamir
January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Who will be the next country to recognize an independent Palestinian state? The guessing game continued on Tuesday, after Russia's president said Moscow recognizes an independent Palestine.

Diplomatic sources in New York speculate that the first country in Western Europe to recognize Palestinian independence will be Spain. The significance of this potential recognition cannot be understated, as it could potentially influence other countries in Europe to make the same decision.

According to these same sources, officials the world-over are surprised by the number of countries who have already recognized Palestinian independence, a number which is much larger than previous estimates.

In addition to the Russian president's statement of recognition on Tuesday, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay have all formally recognized Palestinian independence.

The common assessment among diplomatic sources is that as a result of these South American countries recognizing a Palestinian state, there will soon be a wave of recognition by countries in the Caribbean Islands. In the same area of the world, Palestinian officials have reportedly been in contact with Honduras, Guatemala, and El-Salvador and are making progress on receiving official recognition from these countries.

There is expected to be 12 small countries in that region which will grant recognition. Although the political weight of those countries is negligible, they carry weight equivalent to China or India with their voting power in the United Nations.

Diplomats say that Palestinian officials are set on bringing the issue of Palestinian independence to the United Nations Security Council. They are expected to push for a vote at the General Assembly, which will meet in September of this year.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017