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Israel `regrets` recognitions of Palestinian state
By Ma`an News Agency

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel on Monday described as `regrettable` decisions by several Latin American countries to recognize a Palestinian state, as President Mahmoud Abbas expressed his `pride.`

`This regrettable decision will not help at all to change the situation between Israel and the Palestinians,` Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told Agence France-Presse.

`It is a disappointing declaration which goes against the spirit of the agreements between Israel and the Palestinians and against negotiations for peace,` he said.

The comments came after Argentina followed Brazil by saying it would recognize a `free and independent` Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, in a move that was later mirrored by Uruguay.

The Argentine move was announced in a letter sent by President Cristina Kirchner to Abbas, which was made public Monday.

`The Argentine government recognises Palestine as a free and independent state within the borders defined in 1967,` Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said, reading from the letter.

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