Bolivian president says he'll recognize Palestine

Dec 18, LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) -- Bolivian President Evo Morales says he plans to recognize an independent and sovereign state of Palestine.

Morales says he will send a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announcing his decision and that in coming days "we also will send official statements to various international organizations."

Bolivia joins Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and Venezuela in its recognition of an independent, sovereign Palestinian state with borders recognized prior to the 1967 Mideast war. Uruguay has indicated that it is poised to do the same.

Bolivia severed relations with Israel in January 2009 after its invasion of the Gaza Strip in December 2008.

Morales announced his decision Friday.

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