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US lawmakers blast Brazil's Palestinian move
Published Saturday 04/12/2010 (updated) 04/12/2010 22:20
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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and President Mahmoud Abbas speak
at a joint news conference at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in the West
Bank city of Ramallah on March 17, 2010. [MaanImages/Thaer Ganaim,Pool]
WASHINGTON (AFP) -- US lawmakers condemned Brazil's "severely misguided" and "regrettable" decision Friday to recognize a Palestinian state on borders pre-dating Israel's seizure of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967.

Brazil's decision "is regrettable and will only serve to undermine peace and security in the Middle East," charged Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Ros-Lehtinen, set to chair the panel come January, said "responsible nations" would wait to take such a step until Palestinians return to direct talks with Israel and recognize its "right to exist as a Jewish state."

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced the decision Friday in a public letter addressed to Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas and published on the website of Brazil's foreign ministry.

The international community backs Palestinian demands for a state in most of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and east Jerusalem, all territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

But the United States and most Western governments have held back from recognizing a Palestinian state, saying it should be brought about through a negotiated peace agreement with Israel.

Brazil's decision also drew fire from Democratic Representative Eliot Engel, who said it "is severely misguided and represents a last gasp by a Lula-led foreign policy which was already substantially off track."

Engel tied the move to Lula's "coddling" of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and warned that Brazil "wants to establish itself as a voice in the world, but is making the wrong choices as it tries to do so."

"One can only hope that the new leadership coming into Brazil will change course and understand that this is not the way to gain favor as an emerging power or to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council."

Lula will be stepping down in four weeks' time and handing power over to Dilma Roussef, his protegee and former cabinet chief.

"Brazil is sending a message to the Palestinians that they need not make peace to gain recognition as a sovereign state," said Engel, a co-chair of the US Congress's Brazil Caucus.

The lawmaker added he remained "a strong supporter of Brazil as a dynamic, diverse democracy which will one day take its place alongside the world's leading nations."
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1 ) Sean M Wood / Scotland
04/12/2010 21:39
Well they would say yhat wouldn't they. for any US member of congress to have voted otherwise would have been political suicide.

2 ) Khalid Hasan / India
04/12/2010 23:28
At last a show of "Spine". We almost started to believe we lived in a spineless world groveling at the feet of Israel. Thank you Brazil. Hope other countries who have the guts, the courage & the self-respect to act independently & not act & live as America's (& by extension, Israel's) poodle will follow Brazil's example.

3 ) Mohamad Shahin / Paterson,NJ-US
05/12/2010 00:55
The United States, Europe, The Occupying state of Israel, and any other country in the world have no say whatsoever when it comes to Palestinian sovereignty!! We have been around hundreds and thousands of years before any of these entities-and when a just, fair-minded leader like that recognizes our right to the land we've in for thousands of years, we certainly don't need approval and especially not approval from any foreign entity. WE DECIDE OUR OWN AFFAIRS!

4 ) Niva dos Santos / Brazil
05/12/2010 05:06
Well friends, Democrat and Republican didn't like the Brazlilian move. So, it's means they are the same sh..., just zions criominals supporters and we really give a s... for waht they say and think! CHEERS TO THE BRAVE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, WE, BRAZILIANS, SUPPORT YOU!!

5 ) woody / UK
05/12/2010 10:47
When it comes to being "severely misguided" US Congress are the experts. International law fixed the borders long ago. The Palestinians are not the transgressors, they needn't negotiate anything.

6 ) IVAN / RUSSIA
05/12/2010 10:55
THEY'D LOOK AT OWN [ALMOST BANKRUPT ] YARD AND LEAVE PALESTINE IN PEACE OVER 60 YEARS AGO !!!

7 ) riskymean / holland
05/12/2010 12:43
Finally someone who has the guts to say the truth. But it would have been more better if he would have said, no recognition for occupy state, cause they have no right at all to form a state. Just give back stollen land and maybe they let you live in Falestine.

8 ) BEN JABO / ISRAEL/USA
05/12/2010 23:12
5 ) woody / UK

Yes, woody, the UN set the borders in '47, the Arabs ignored them in '48 ,'56 & '67 and through all the years until this present time
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