Greek Parliament Votes To Recognize Palestine As An Independent State

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The Greek parliament has unanimously voted to recognize Palestine as an independent state.

The vote came during an official visit by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. – but also amid stronger Greek-Israeli ties

The Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras said on Monday that the vote to recognize Palestinian statehood would only serve to cement formal recognition at a later “appropriate” date.

The Independent reports: 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.

In September, the Palestine flag was raised at the UN headquarters in New York for the first time as a symbolic gesture