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Greece to recognize state of Palestine

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Palestinian flag flies for the first time at the United Nations headquarters after it was raised in a ceremony on September 30, 2015 in New York City, the US. (Photo by AFP)

Greece is set to recognize the state of Palestine in a parliamentary vote, thus joining dozens of other countries that accord recognition to the Palestinian state.

A Greek government source said on Sunday that the vote on Palestine will be held on Tuesday.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas will attend the voting session.

Abbas is expected in Athens on Sunday ahead of the vote and will meet President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas (Photo by AFP)

Last week, the Greek parliament’s foreign affairs committee unanimously approved a motion to recognize Palestine.

Tsipras traveled to Palestine last month; there, he met with both Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addresses lawmakers during a parliamentary session in Athens, December 6, 2015. (Photo by AP)

During the past months, other European legislatures, including those of the UK, France, Spain, Ireland, Belgium and Portugal, have recognized the Palestinian state. In December 2014, the European Parliament also overwhelmingly backed the recognition of a Palestinian state “in principle.”

Back in June, Athens announced that its officials would begin using the term “Palestine.”

“We decided to issue instructions throughout the Greek public administration for the uniform use of the term ‘Palestine’ when we refer to our friendly country,” Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said then.

Palestine’s flag was hoisted for the first time at the UN headquarters in New York on September 30. Abbas then took to the podium there to call for the universal recognition of the state of Palestine.

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