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PA: Honduras recognizes Palestinian state

Aug. 26, 2011 7:12 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 28, 2011 11:15 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Honduras has recognized the State of Palestine, the official Palestinian Authority news agency reported Friday.

The announcement came in a letter to President Mahmoud Abbas that Honduras recognized the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders and would back efforts to seek membership in the UN, WAFA reported.

Abbas thanked Honduras and expressed hope that the move would bolster bilateral relations.

Full member status would require approval in the UN Security Council, where Israel's ally the United States has said it will veto any such resolution.

About 120 countries have recognized the state of Palestine to date.

On Thursday, El Salvador recognized Palestine as an independent state in the midst of the drive by the Arab League to upgrade it to full membership status in the United Nations.

"This 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," President Mauricio Funes told a news conference.

Funes, who belongs to the left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, said he hoped his decision would help foster peace in Israel, adding that he supported the country's right to maintain secure borders.

The Palestinians, who currently have UN "observer" status, had previously pledged to seek UN endorsement for their claim of sovereignty in the Gaza Strip, and the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The move has gained momentum with the lack of progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The Arab League formally backed this plan in May.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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