Israel expressed its disappointment Monday to Cyprus for upgrading the Palestinian mission in Nicosia to that of an embassy last week, saying this type of move gives the Palestinians the feeling they can stay away from negotiations and still reap benefits.

The ministry’s deputy director general for Europe Rafi Schutz told Cypriot ambassador Dimitris Hatziargyrou that Israel was surprised that Cyprus had not consulted with Israel before going through with this move.


The Cypriot ambassador replied that Cyprus merely wanted to “step into line” with the other EU countries who recognized a Palestinian state in 1988 and have since upgraded the mission to that of embassy: Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Malta.


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