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Greek parliament calls on government to recognise Palestine

Greece is set to recognize the state of Palestine in a parliamentary vote to be attended by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, a government source said Sunday, December 20.

The resolution is rather symbolic in nature and doesn’t pave the way for an official recognition of the Palestinian state. “We no longer accept the use of the name Palestinian Authority from anybody”, Abbas told a joint news conference in Athens, after meeting with Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras. Its electoral platform in 2012 called for the “abolition of military cooperation with Israel [and] support for creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders”.

Tsipras, however, indicated that recognizing a Palestinian state is not yet in the cards. However, it is a significant first step.

Several other European parliaments – such as in Britain, Ireland and France – have passed similar resolutions.

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (left) shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015.

The resolution is non-binding and not by the Greek state, so as “not to disturb good relations with Israel”, according to a statement released by the Greek foreign ministry.

Tsipras traveled to Israel in November, where he met with both Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Tsipras declined to say if or when the Greek government would implement the resolution recognizing a Palestinian State.

“We feel that we are in our house, the house of Greek democracy, and we thank you very much and, God willing, further steps will follow for strengthening of the relations of the Greek and Palestinian people”, he said.

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