Ayalon: Upgrade of PA mission doesn't change reality

Denmark follows UK, upgrades PA delegation to 2nd highest status; deputy FM: Unilateral moves diminish chances for negotiated peace.

Danny Ayalon 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Danny Ayalon 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Denmark's decision of only "virtual upgrade" to the status of the Palestinian delegationdoes not change realities on the ground, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said on Thursday.
"Whoever deludes the Palestinians into thinking that they can establish a state unilaterally, without negotiations, is diminishing the chances for peace and for a Palestinian state," Ayalon told the press during a briefing for foreign ambassadors.
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The deputy foreign minister added, "Palestinian obstinacy will not prevent Israel from making diplomatic progress and cooperating with the international community."
On Wednesday, Denmark announced that it would upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority's representation in the country, during a visit by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
At a joint press conference with Abbas, Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said he was "pleased to announce our government's decision to upgrade the status of the Palestinian representation in Denmark." A statement from the Danish Foreign Ministry said that the delegation would be upgraded from the level of "general representation" to "the Palestinian mission to Denmark," the second highest possible status for a foreign delegation.
Abbas praised the Danish decision, saying that it reflected "the deep commitment between the two countries." He expressed his "deepest gratitude" for the decision.
Denmark, however, said that it did not plan on recognizing Palestinian statehood.
"With regards to formal recognition, the European Union has said many times it would take the step at an appropriate time, on the basis of the contribution the recognition would bring to [peace] negotiations and to the two-state solution," the Danish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
On Monday, the UK said it was raising the status of the Palestinian Authority's London office, though the move fell short of diplomatic recognition.
"Given the extent of our aid to the Palestinian Authority and our work with them, we will join many other countries in upgrading the status of the Palestinian delegation to London to the level of a mission," Foreign Secretary William Hague the British parliament.