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London - Ireland Upgrades Palestinian Territories Relations

Published on: January 25, 2011 04:18 PM
By: AP
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London - Ireland is upgrading its diplomatic relations with the Palestinian territories in recognition of progress being made by the Palestinian Authority, officials said Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said the Palestinian diplomatic representation will now be known as the Palestinian “mission,” instead of the previous Palestinian “delegation.”

The delegation chief’s title will also be amended to “ambassador, head of mission” from “delegate general,” she added, speaking on customary condition of anonymity according to departmental protocol.

The spokeswoman said the move is to recognize progress being made by the Palestinian Authority in building up institutions of a Palestinian state.

The decision recognizes Ireland’s long-standing support for Palestinian statehood, but does not involve any recognition of a Palestinian state and stops short of granting the mission full diplomatic privileges and immunities, she added.

Israel’s government condemned the move, saying it was in line with “Ireland’s biased policy on the Middle East.”

“The decision will only strengthen Palestinian rejection of direct dialogue which makes it even harder to resume peace negotiations,” said Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry.

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Israel and the Palestinian Authority are at an impasse in peace talks over a Palestinian demand that Israel freeze Jewish settlements in areas Palestinians want for a future state.

Given the stalemate, some Palestinian officials have been trying to rally international recognition for an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem even without a deal with Israel. Brazil and Argentina and other South American countries have granted such recognition, while Ireland’s decision to upgrade relations tracks a trend set by several other European countries, such as France, Spain and Portugal.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said in a statement Tuesday that he hopes other European countries will follow suit “as a first step toward the recognition of the Palestinian state.”



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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 25, 2011 at 05:04 PM Bigboy Says:

When will all these anti semites shut up and take care of their own problems without mixing in to our problems!

2

 Jan 25, 2011 at 05:37 PM charliehall Says:

Reply to #1  
Bigboy Says:

When will all these anti semites shut up and take care of their own problems without mixing in to our problems!

Excuse me, but Ireland has absolutely no history of anti-Semitism.

The UN voted for a Palestinian State on November 29, 1947. Zionists around the world cheered wildly.

3

 Jan 25, 2011 at 06:54 PM The_Beadle Says:

Reply to #2  
charliehall Says:

Excuse me, but Ireland has absolutely no history of anti-Semitism.

The UN voted for a Palestinian State on November 29, 1947. Zionists around the world cheered wildly.

Although there is no history of the Irish being traditionally anti-semitic, certainly in recent years they have proved to be anti-Israel

4

 Jan 25, 2011 at 08:15 PM charliehall Says:

Reply to #3  
The_Beadle Says:

Although there is no history of the Irish being traditionally anti-semitic, certainly in recent years they have proved to be anti-Israel

I can't argue with that. Ironically the party in power that is responsible for these policies -- Fianna Fail -- is the one that most Irish Jews have historically supported, possibly because of its founder Eamon De Valera who specifically put a provision in the Irish Constitution that protected Jews. (That was in 1937!) But it has recently been plagued by scandal and disastrous economic decisions so it is on its way out -- a general election has just been scheduled for one month from today.

5

 Jan 26, 2011 at 01:02 PM CampRunamok Says:

Interesting that the European nations are taking baby steps on this issue, doing their best to play it both ways. This contrasts sharply with the South American countries that are lining up full-tilt behind the Pallys.

Meanwhile, Abbas is in a race against time. The recent Al-Jazeera document leaks are (IMHO) a hand-in-glove effort by Hamas to delegitimize Abbas in the eyes of regional political leaders. Also, the popular street uprising that just toppled Tunisia's dictator and now threatens Egypt's Prez-for-life may well be knocking at his door soon. He has to look presidential and soon or he risks losing everything, perhaps even...

6

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