Parliament seeks Greece’s recognition of Palestine
THE Greek parliament has approved a resolution calling on the government to recognise the state of Palestine.
At a special session yesterday attended by the visiting Palestinian president, Greece’s parliamentary parties voted in favour of the move, the assembly’s speaker Nikos Voutsis said.
AFP reported that the parliament urged the government to “promote appropriate procedures for the recognition of a Palestinian state and every diplomatic effort for the resumption of discussions for peace.”
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said he was “proud to be in the Greek parliament”, calling it “the sanctuary of democracy”. He thanked the deputies for a vote he said would “contribute to the creation of a Palestinian state”.
The Greek parliament’s deputy speaker Tassos Kourakis also called the resolution “an important step towards the recognition of a Palestinian state”.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced Monday after talks with Abbas that Greece would no longer refer on official documents to the Palestinian Authority, but rather to Palestine.
Abbas’ visit to Greece signalled the “strengthening” of traditionally historic ties between the two, the premier said.
“Greece was committed to the installation of a viable, independent and sovereign Palestinian state based on borders set in 1967 and with East Jerusalem as its capital, a country that will coexist peacefully with Israel,” Tsipras said.
In Ramallah, headquarters of the Palestinian Authority, Saeb Erakat, the number two of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), welcomed the resolution.
“We truly hope that the Greek government will follow through with the parliament’s decision and officially recognise a state of Palestine with the 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital,” he said.
Greece had forged closer ties with Israel in recent years, especially in the field of energy, while retaining its traditionally good relations with the Palestinians.