PA Foreign Minister
Riyad al-Maliki announced on Sunday that Chile and Paraguay will declare their recognition of an independent Palestinian state in the coming weeks, Ha'aretz reported.
More than 130 countries have officially recognized Palestine as a state based on the 1967 borders, the boundaries that existed before Israel occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem), the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.
The United States and Israel have criticized the move and have so far refused to recognize an independent Palestinian state.
Last month, Uruguay announced that it will recognize Palestine in March 2011.
In early December, Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia also recognized Palestine as an independent state.
Chile's President Sebastian Pinera is scheduled to visit the occupied West Bank in three months, the PA foreign minister said.
Maliki also said that Ecuador is to follow Brazil and open a PA embassy on its soil. Ecuador became the fifth Latin American country that recognized Palestine in late December.
Acting PA Chief Mahmoud Abbas said that the recent move by several Latin American nations would force the US and Israel to return to negotiations after the latest round of talks collapsed in late September because Tel Aviv refused to extend a partial freeze on its construction and expansion of illegal settlements on the occupied Palestinian territories.
Abbas was in Brazil on Dec. 31 to lay the head cornerstone for the building of the Palestinian Embassy.