The Greek government will soon officially recognize the state of Palestine, the country’s ruling Syriza party told Palestinian lawmakers on Saturday, the Palestinian Legislative Council said in a statement.
According to Palestinian news agency Ma’an, the Greek pledge came during a meeting between a Syriza delegation and Palestinian MPs in Ramallah, although no specific time frame for the recognition was provided.
Ma’an said that the Greek delegation met with a group of Palestinian politicians that included Azzam al-Ahmad from Fatah, Qays Abdul Karim from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Mustafa Barghouti of the Palestinian National Initiative.
“Due to some special circumstances, the Greek recognition of the Palestinian state has been delayed, but it will come soon,” the Greek delegation said, according to the report.
The Greek parliament approved a resolution in December calling on the government to recognize the state of Palestine, in a special session attended by visiting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
All Greece’s parliamentary parties voted in favor of the move, the assembly’s president Nikos Voutsis said.
The resolution urged the Greek government to “promote appropriate procedures for the recognition of a Palestinian state and every diplomatic effort for the resumption of discussions for peace” in the region, Voutsis added.
Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras announced after meeting with Abbas that Greece would no longer refer on official documents to the Palestinian Authority, but rather to Palestine.
Abbas’s visit to Greece signaled the “strengthening” of traditionally historic ties between the two, the premier said.
Greece will “judge the right time” for recognizing a state of Palestine, taking into account its “brotherly relations with the Arab people and ties of cooperation with Israel,” Tspiras added.
Athens has forged closer ties with Israel in recent years, especially in the field of energy, while retaining its traditionally good relations with the Palestinians.