Know More About Palestine

Friday July 23, 2010 11:03 AM (EST+7)
US upgrades diplomatic ties with Palestinians

Read more: US - PA relations, US foreign policy, PA mission, PA delegation, peace process, direct talks

RAMALLAH, July 23 (JMCC) - Diplomatic relations between the United States and the Palestinian Authority are set to upgrade this week. The US will grant the PA’s mission in Washington the status of a PLO ‘general delegation’. This is the same status it already enjoys in most European countries.

This is still a lower status than an embassy - a status the PA mission does have in many African and Asian countries, as well as some European and South American states. But it is a major step above what the PA has had until now.

Prior to this decision, the PA mission in Washington was at a very low level from the point of view of protocol: Its diplomats did not have diplomatic immunity, and it was not even allowed to fly the PLO flag at the entrance to its offices.

The PA has been seeking an upgrade in diplomatic relations ever since U.S. President Barack Obama took office last year. But after 18 months without progress, it was surprised to suddenly receive a letter from the State Department on Tuesday announcing that the U.S. had agreed. The letter was sent to Maen Areikat, who heads the PLO mission in Washington.

White House spokesman Thomas Vietor said, This decision reflects our confidence that through direct negotiations, we can help achieve a two-state solution with an independent and viable Palestine living side by side with Israel. We should begin preparing for that outcome now, as we continue to work with the Palestinian people on behalf of a better future.

Read more at Haaretz…







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