12/27/2010, 00.00
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London considering granting Palestinian delegates diplomatic status

This could lead to a full-fledged recognition of Palestinian statehood as done already by Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia. The Foreign Office has already confirmed that it is considering upgrading the status of the Palestinian delegation, something that is worrying the Israeli government.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The UK government is considering upgrading the status of the Palestinian delegation to that of diplomatic mission, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported today. In Israel, officials fear this might lead to the unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood.

If carried out, the step would follow that of various South American nations who have already granted recognition to an independent Palestinian state. The Palestinian delegation would thus enjoy a status similar to that of an independent state, which will turn Palestinian delegates into diplomats.

So far, only Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia have recognised a Palestinian state. France, Spain and Portugal have already recognised the Palestinian delegation as a diplomatic mission

The Israeli government is very concerned about the possible move because the current UK government is considered pro-Israel. Its action would profoundly change the European context.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) confirmed that it was looking into the possibility of upgrading the Palestinian delegation's status. A FCO spokesperson said the matter was indeed being examined thoroughly.

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