Greek parliament votes to recognise Palestinian state

Greek politicians vote in Palestine for state recognition in a session attended by Palestinian President Abbas.

    Greek parliament votes to recognise Palestinian state
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas acknowledges applause by Greek politicians on Tuesday [Michalis Karagiannis/Reuters]

    The Greek parliament voted in a resolution recognising the state of Palestine on Tuesday making it the latest European legislative body to recognise Palestine statehood.

    The voting took place during a special parliamentary session attended by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president,  and Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister.

    "[The Greek parliament pledges] to promote all the necessary procedures to recognise the state of Palestine and to make every diplomatic effort for the immediate resumption of credible, peace talks between the two sides," said Nikos Voutsis, the parliamentary speaker,  before asking members to rise for the voting procedure. 

    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.

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

    The state of Palestine currently enjoys bilateral recognition from 137 nations.

    After the vote, Abbas delivered a speech in the Greek assembly calling on all countries to recognise Palestine as a state and support a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    "We call on countries to support a two-state solution on the Palestine issue. We call on countries that have not yet recognised the state of Palestine to do so now," Abbas said.

    Greece, which enjoys close relations with Israel, has steadily supported the creation of a Palestinian state on the basis of the 1967 borders and with the capital in East Jerusalem.

    After years of failed peace talks with Israel, Abbas responded by signing 15 international treaties, including the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of war and occupations.

    Israel condemned the move as a unilateral step towards statehood. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


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