Belgium upgrades Palestinian delegation's status

Recognition meant to show support for two-state solution, Belgian FM Didier Reynders said, after meeting with Abbas in Jordan.

November 10, 2013 08:38
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Vidal)

Belgium raised the standing of the Palestinian Authority's diplomatic delegation from "general delegation" to "mission" status, AFP reported on Saturday.

"The raising [of status] reflects Belgian and European support for the two-state solution," Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said in a statement after signing an agreement with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan, that would also allow the head of the Palestinian mission to use the title of ambassador.

The move has been in the works since November 2012, when Belgium was one of 138 countries in the UN General Assembly that voted to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state.

Over 100 countries thus far have endorsed the Palestinians’ 1988 unilateral declaration of independent statehood.

Belgium joins other European countries that have provided the Palestinian Authority with official recognition. Denmark and Finland also upgraded the status of the PA mission to their respective countries, while Cyprus gave the state of Palestine an embassy.

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