QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) -- Ecuador formally recognized Palestine as an independent state on Friday, following the lead of its neighbors Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay earlier this month.
President Rafael Correa signed "the Ecuadoran government's official recognition of Palestine as a free and independent state with 1967 borders," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The border mention refers to the territorial limits of the Palestinian territory before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
Ecuador's decision, the ministry statement said, "vindicates the valid and legitimate desire of the Palestinian people for a free and independent state" and will be a key contribution to a negotiated peaceful coexistence in the Middle East.
The Ecuadoran resolution was being provided to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and the Palestinian representative to the United Nations, the ministry said.
Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay earlier this month recognized Palestine as an independent state, drawing a harsh rebuke from Israel.