- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his transformative Foreign Minister Celso Amorim are still making news in their last month in office, announcing today that Brazil would recognize the Palestinian state along the 1967 borders. Here’s the (Google-translated) statement from the foreign ministry:
The initiative is consistent with Brazil’s historical willingness to contribute to the peace process between Israel and Palestine, whose direct negotiations are currently suspended, and is in line with UN resolutions demanding the end to the occupation of Palestinian territories and building an independent state within the borders of June 4, 1967.
The decision does not imply abandoning the conviction that are essential negotiations between Israel and Palestine in order to achieve that mutual concessions on the central issues of the conflict.
Brazil reaffirms its traditional position of favoring a democratic Palestinian state, geographically cohesive and economically viable, living in peace with Israel. Only a democratic Palestine, free and sovereign will meet the legitimate demands for Israeli peace with its neighbors, security on its borders and political stability in its surrounding region.
The statement also states that that relations between Israel and Brazil have "never been so robust" and that "ties between the two countries have strengthened over the years."
More than 100 countries currently recognize the Palestinian state, including most of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. (Here’s a map from Wikipedia.) Crucially, all of the other countries in the BRIC alliance that Lula and Amorim have championed already recognize.