PM Baldwin Spencer with UN General Assembly President, Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar. Photo: Antigua Government

Antigua has formally recognized an independent Palestinian state, Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer announced yesterday.

The announcement comes as the Palestinian Authority is submitting a written application to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, which will go to the UN Security Council.

“Antigua and Barbuda is of the view that recognition of the State of Palestine will contribute to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the creation of a lasting peace and stability in the region,” he said. “We are also of the view that recognition of the State of Palestine should not detract from the fact that many core issues of this conflict remain unresolved and must be negotiated, and that an outcome of those negotiations must be a viable Palestine and a secure Israel.”

Spencer said the borders between the two countries should be based on the “1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that securer and recognized borders are established for both sides.”

Five CARICOM member states have now recognized Palestine — including Belize, Guyana, Suriname and St Vincent and the Grenadines.