The Greek government plans to hold a parliamentary vote on recognizing Palestine as an independent and sovereign state.
“The recognition of the state of Palestine will be on agenda in the Greek parliament in the coming weeks,” the Sputnik news service quoted a source in Greece’s ruling Syriza party as saying on Thursday.
The source noted that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is also expected to participate in the voting session.
Earlier this month, the Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty. According to the treaty, which was finalized on May 13, the Holy See switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestine Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.
“By the example of Vatican and other European nations, Athens will hold a parliament voting on the issue of the recognition of Palestine. At the initiative of the Syriza party, the Greek parliament plans to recognize the state of Palestine along the 1967 borders,” the source in the Greek party added.
On November 29, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status at the UN from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite strong opposition from Israel and the United States.
On December 2 last year, French lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of a motion to recognize Palestine as an independent state. The motion was backed by a majority of 339 lawmakers while 151 members voted against.
On November 18, 2014, Spanish lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a non-binding resolution on recognizing the Palestinian state. Britain and Ireland also passed similar non-binding motions.
Sweden went a step further On October 30, 2014, and officially recognized the state of Palestine, drawing stringent criticism from Israel and the US.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East al-Quds (Jerusalem), and the Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds.