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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Greek parliament votes to recognize the State of Palestine during Abbas visit

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Greek Prime Minister
Alexis Tsipras
(Image: The Independent) 
Independent - ATHENS: The Greek parliament has voted unanimously in favour of recognising the state of Palestine during a visit from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The government of Alexis Tsipras had previously been urged by the parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee to make the move, removing references to "the Palestinian Authority".

Parliament voted on the motion on Tuesday following an address by President Abbas, who held talks with Mr Tsipras on Monday night.

After those talks, Mr Abbas said his national authority had proposed changing the name it refers to on its passports to State of Palestine, saying this will happen in a year at most.

Despite its long-held position of support for the Palestinian people, Mr Tsipras's left-wing government is also working on improving relations with Israel. The Prime Minister visited that country last month, meeting Benjamin Netanyahu, before talks with Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank.

The flag of Palestine was raised at the UN headquarters in New York for the first time on 30 September, as a symbolic gesture.