ATHENS (Nov. 16)
The Greek government reportedly will extend de jure recognition to Israel and at the same time recognize the independent Palestinian state proclaimed Tuesday by Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat in Algiers.
According to well-informed Foreign Ministry sources here, the dual recognitions will be announced next Monday in Brussels. The foreign ministers of the 12 European Community member states will be meeting there under the chairmanship of Greek Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias, who currently chairs the E.C. Council of Ministers.
Greece is the only E.C. country that does not have full diplomatic relations with Israel. While Israel is represented here by a diplomat of ambassadorial rank, his status is only that of diplomatic representative.
This puts Israel on the same level as the PLO, which has a diplomatic mission in Athens.
Greece, meanwhile, welcomed the “brave decision of the Palestine National Council to declare an independent Palestinian state.”
It said the move at the PNC meeting was “within the context of United Nations decisions and the rules of international law.”
Israel and many Western observers have found flaws in the PNC declaration.
Nevertheless, the Greek government believes the Algiers statement created “the conditions and the moral obligation on the part of the international community to correctly confront the Palestinian cause by convening an international conference without delay.”