Ireland upgrades PA envoys without ‘recognition'

Move comes day after Peru joins growing list of S. American countries recognizing a Palestinian state; other EU countries may follow suit.

By
January 25, 2011 17:34
2 minute read.
Palestinian flag in front of dirt

Palestinian flag 311 AP. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor slammed Ireland Tuesday for upgrading the Palestinian delegation in Dublin to the status of a mission, saying the move is consistent with the country’s “longtime” bias in the Middle East.

An Irish diplomatic source confirmed Dublin’s intention make the upgrade, but stressed that contrary to some reports, the delegation would not be given the status of an embassy.

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Still, the source said the head of the delegation will now be referred to as “ambassador- head of mission,” and will present credentials to the country’s president.

The source said this move was in step with what a number of other countries have done recently in the EU, including Portugal, France and Spain.

He added that the upgrade is not a precursor to recognizing a Palestinian state, and that according to Irish law, states can only be recognized if they exist.

A number of EU countries are expected to take similar steps in the coming weeks – but are unlikely to grant recognition to a Palestinian state, according to EU officials.

Palmor said Israel regretted the decision, but was not stunned.

“It comes as no surprise, as it is in line with Ireland’s longtime biased policy in the Middle East,” he said.

Palmor added that the upgrade will only strengthen Palestinian rejection of returning to direct dialogue and peace talks.”

The move came a day after Peru joined a growing list of South American countries – including Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile – in recognizing a Palestinian state.

However, the decision announced by Peru’s foreign minister does not recognize the June 4, 1967, lines as the border of the Palestinian state – with Peru (like Chile) saying the impasse must be resolved between the sides.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon reacted to both the Irish and Peruvian moves by saying they were “largely meaningless on the ground,” but “destructive for negotiations.”

“[They] contribute to the bubble of expectation that is growing among the Palestinian leadership,” he said.

“However, we all know that bubbles eventually burst, and it is negligent to contribute to this unsustainable policy.

Every free gift the Palestinians receive from the international community contributes to their recalcitrance and maximalist strategy. We can see an obvious connection to the recent spate of recognition and a hardening of the Palestinian position.”

Ayalon added, “If the Palestinians would expend onetenth of the effort towards meaningful negotiations that they use to push for largely meaningless, one-sided declarations and political warfare in multilateral forums, then we could have actually moved a long way in negotiations.”


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