Peru recognizes Palestinian state

Peru has joined a growing number of South American countries in recognizing an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.

However, the decision announced by Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde does not recognize Palestine's borders pre-dating the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza.

Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia have recently recognized those borders.

Peru's position is similar to that of Chile. Both governments say the issue must be worked out between Israelis and Palestinians.

Garcia said Monday that Peru also recognizes Israel's indisputable right to exist without any threats to its people.

Its announcement comes ahead of a mid-February summit in Lima of South American and Arab leaders.