Greece moves to recognise the state of Palestine

Official says parliament is set to vote in a session that will be attended by the Palestinian president.

    Tsipras (right) welcomes Abbas during their meeting in Athens on Monday [Orests Panagiotou/EPA]
    Tsipras (right) welcomes Abbas during their meeting in Athens on Monday [Orests Panagiotou/EPA]

    Greece is set to recognise the state of Palestine in a parliamentary vote to be attended by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, a government source said.

    A solemn ceremony will accompany the vote on Tuesday as Greece joins dozens of other countries that accord recognition to Palestine, the source told the AFP news agency.

    Abbas arrived for a two-day visit in Athens and is meeting President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

    After meeting Tsipras on Monday, Abbas said his national authority proposes to change its name on passports it issues to State of Palestine, the Associated Press reported. 

    Abbas, who is due to address Greece's Parliament on Tuesday, said the change will happen in about a year at the most, replacing the name Palestinian Authority.

    Speaking to the press after the meeting, Tsipras said that from now on all Greek public documents will use the term Palestine, instead of Palestinian Authority.

    Last week, the Greek parliament's foreign affairs committee unanimously approved a motion to recognise Palestine.

    Call for recognition 

    Tsipras travelled to Israel last month when he met with both Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Palestine's flag was hoisted for the first time at UN headquarters in New York on September 30, in a symbolic gesture.

    Abbas then took to the podium to call for universal recognition of Palestine.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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