Palestinian flag/protest good illustrative 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
Denmark and Finland announced on Saturday that they would upgrade the status of
the Palestinian missions in Copenhagen and Helsinki, respectively, to be
equivalent to embassies.
In a joint statement, the Nordic countries
emphasized that the upgrade “does not entail a formal bilateral recognition of a
sovereign Palestinian state.”
Danish Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal and
Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said the upgrade was a way to encourage
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “to engage with determination in
the necessary negotiations with the Israeli government on a two state
Abbas had many challenges to meet “before we can recognize
Palestine as a state,” the two foreign ministers said. “It is important to keep
focused on the aim of Palestine becoming a fully recognized state and as such
claim its rightful place as part of the international community of
The move gives Palestinian representatives in all Nordic
countries the same working conditions as accredited diplomats serving in an
embassy of a recognized state, according to the statement.