Greek parliament calls on government to recognize a Palestinian state


ATHENS, Greece (JTA) —  The parliament of Greece passed a motion endorsing a Palestinian state and calling on the government to officially recognize Palestine.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas looked on Tuesday as the nonbinding resolution passed in Athens. Abbas addressed the parliament following the vote.

The resolution also calls on the Greek government “to make every effort for the immediate recommencement of direct and credible peace talks between the two sides,” meaning the new state and Israel. It is similar to those passed in recent months by the National Assembly in France, the House of Commons in Britain and the European Parliament.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declined to say if or when the Greek government would implement the resolution recognizing a Palestinian state.

However, unnamed Greek government officials were quoted as saying the government has no intention of recognizing the Palestinian Authority as a state in order “not to disturb good relations with Israel.”

Tsipras visited Israel last month, meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Relations between Israel and Greece have flourished in recent years.

On Monday, following a meeting with Tspiras, Abbas said the passports issued by the Palestinian Authority would soon read State of Palestine rather than Palestinian Authority.

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