Thailand gives official recognition for Palestine

Jan 20, 2012, 3:43 AM

BANGKOK (AP) – Thailand says it has recognized Palestine as an independent state.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongphakdi said Friday that Thailand has informed the Palestinian delegation and all member states at the United Nations in New York that it “has given recognition to the state of Palestine.”

The move comes as Palestine pushes for full membership at the U.N., a bid Washington opposes because it says a political settlement with Israel must be reached first.

Thailand has friendly ties with Israel and is a major tourist destination for Israeli travelers.

Thai officials have expressed concern that the recent arrest of a Lebanese man allegedly linked to Hezbollah and plotting an attack in Bangkok could hurt ties with Middle Eastern countries.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Thailand gives official recognition for Palestine