Greece To Officially Recognize Palestinian State Today ~ Saed Bannoura – IMEMC News, Dec 21, 2015.
The government of Greece has announced that it will officially recognize the Palestinian state in a parliament session on Tuesday that will include the participation of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
President Abbas started an official visit to Greece, Sunday, in preparation for the official vote and recognition of the State of Palestine.
The recognition ceremony comes after the Foreign Affairs Committee in the country unanimously voted and approved, last week, to recognize the state of Palestine.
During his visit to Palestine, in late November, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras officially invited President Abbas to attend the official recognition ceremony of Palestine.
Dozens of countries around the world have officially recognized the state of Palestine, and on September 30, the Palestinian flag was officially raised in the United Nations in New York.
Israeli daily, The Jerusalem Post, said that Israel and Greece are scheduled to hold high-level meetings, on January 27, headed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Tsipras, in Jerusalem, a day before their meeting with the president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiade.
On November 29, 2012, the General Assembly passed with an overwhelming majority, a resolution according Palestine non-member Observer State status in the United Nations.
The vote passed by 138 in favor, while only 9 counties (Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Panama, Palau, United States), voted against it, and 41 countries abstained.
On Thursday, September 10, 2015, The United Nations General Assembly voted in an overwhelming majority to raise the Palestinian flag at the United Nations, despite aggressive opposition led by the United States and Israel.
 Greek parliament to recognise Palestine ~ERIC MAURICE, BRUSSELS, EUObserver, DEC 22, 2015.
The Greek parliament is expected to recognise Palestine as a state Tuesday (22 December). The vote will be on a non-binding resolution but will be highly symbolic as Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will first address the assembly.
Meeting Abbas on Monday (21 December), Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras announced that the name “Palestine” will replace “Palestinian Authority” in all Greek public documents.
He told the Palestinian leader that his government supported a two-state solution that “guarantees the establishment of a viable, territorially unified, independent and sovereign Palestinian state … which will coexist in peace and security with Israel.”
“Greece can play the role of a bridge in the direction of a just and viable solution to the Palestine issue,” Abbas said after his meeting with Tsipras.
“We give new impetus to the resolution of the Palestinian issue,” he added.
Although Greece and Israel enjoy good relations, recognition of Palestine as a state has been a promise of Tsipras’ government since its election last January. Tsipras’ party, radical left Syriza, has been traditionally pro-Palestinian. Its electoral platform in 2012 called for the “abolition of military cooperation with Israel [and] support for creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.”
The resolution voted by the Greek parliament will be non-binding on the government, similar to resolutions voted by the British, the French and other national parliaments in the EU.
On Monday, Tsipras said full recognition is not being considered.
Greek PM Tsipras (r) receiving Palestinian leader Abbas (l): “When the time is deemed to be right, Greece will make the necessary steps.” (Photo: Greek PM office)
“When the time is deemed to be right, Greece will make the necessary steps,” he said. So far, only eight EU member states have recognised the Palestinian state. But only Sweden did it after its accession to the EU, in October 2014.
The others, mainly countries from the former Soviet bloc, recognised Palestine in 1988 when the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) published a Palestinian Declaration of Independence.
German chancellor Angela Merkel, for her part, said a recognition would be a “unilateral step.”
Concerns over the Israeli and US reactions have so far prevented the EU from taking position on recognition of Palestine.
In December 2014, the European Parliament also voted for a non-binding resolution to support “in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution.”
 Greek Parliament Recognizes Palestinian State ~ SPUTNIK, 22 DEC 2015.
The Greek parliament on Tuesday adopted a resolution recognizing the State of Palestine, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.
ATHENS (Sputnik) — Greek Parliamentary Speaker Nikos Voutsis read the text of the resolution and asked those lawmakers who supported it to rise. Lawmakers voted in favor of recognizing Palestine’s statehood.
On Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held meetings with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, during which the Greek leaders emphasized the need to create a viable, independent Palestinian State.
The resolution recognizes the Palestinian State within the 1967 borders with its capital in East Jerusalem.
Palestinians want to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, partially occupied by Israel, and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, and want Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territories it took after the Six-Day War in 1967.Israel has been building settlements on the occupied territories, despite objection from the United Nations.
The State of Palestine is currently recognized by 137 of the 193 United Nations member-states, including Russia. The United States does not recognize Palestine as a state.