Republic of Cyprus becomes eighth EU state to recognise state of Palestine


February 9, 2013
Sarah Benton

For the gasfields lying between Cyprus and the West Asian coast, see A legal intifada against Israeli plunder of resources


Map of Eastern Mediterranean from National Geographic. The north points towards Turkey, the southern half is an EU member and inclines politically towards Palestine.

Cyprus formally recognizes State of Palestine

By Al Akhbar/AFP
February 08, 2013

Cyprus said on Friday it has upgraded its relations with the Palestinians to full diplomatic mission status, one of just eight European Union countries to do so.

The decision was announced by Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis during an official visit by her Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Malki.

“I informed my Palestinian counterpart of the decision of the government to upgrade the status of the Palestinian diplomatic representation in Cyprus from that of a Diplomatic Mission to that of an Embassy of the State of Palestine,” Marcoullis told reporters.

She said this “important decision” was in line with the recognition of the Palestinian State in 1988 by Cyprus, and follows seven other EU members that have recognized a Palestinian State – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis. When Cyprus was exercising the EU Presedency in 2012 she said “Cyprus will use its EU council presidency to promote greater trust and deeper involvement with Europe’s southern neighbours”.

A Cyprus Representation Office opened in Ramallah in the West Bank in 2009.

Malki said the decision sent a “very important message,” adding: “We hope this courageous step taken by Cyprus will be taken by others in the European Union.”

Palestinian Ambassador to Nicosia Walid Al-Hassan told AFP: “Now we have diplomatic representation in Cyprus like any other country in the world. This applies to our legal situation and the immunity which accompanies diplomatic status.”

On November 29, Cyprus also voted in favor of the successful Palestinian bid for upgraded UN General Assembly status.

“All official correspondence will now be done in the name of the State of Palestine. Cyprus is the first European state to upgrade Palestinian status since the UN vote,” Hassan said.

Marcoullis said Cyprus expressed “full support” for resolving concerns of Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty and those of Israel for security, through a comprehensive negotiated peace based on a two-state solution.

Nicosia backs an enhanced EU role in efforts for renewed and substantial peace efforts in 2013.

Cyprus has expressed “deep dismay and strong opposition” at controversial Israeli settlement plans for an area near annexed Arab east Jerusalem known as E1.

“The E1 plan, if implemented, would seriously undermine the prospects of a negotiated resolution of the conflict,” Marcoullis said.


Cyprus upgrades Palestinian diplomatic status

FM Kozakou-Marcoullis informs visiting Palestinian counterpart Malki of ‘important decision’ to upgrade status of Palestinian mission to that of ‘Embassy of the State of Palestine’; says Israeli construction in E1 zone would ‘seriously undermine’ peace prospects

By AFP, AP, Ynet news
February 08, 2013

Cyprus said on Friday it has upgraded its relations with the Palestinians to full diplomatic mission status, one of just eight European Union countries to do so.

The decision was announced by Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis during an official visit by her Palestinian counterpart Riyad Malki.

“I informed my Palestinian counterpart of the decision of the government to upgrade the status of the Palestinian diplomatic representation in Cyprus from that of a Diplomatic Mission to that of an Embassy of the State of Palestine,” Marcoullis told reporters.

She said this “important decision” was in line with the recognition of the “Palestinian state” in 1988 by Cyprus, and follows seven other EU members that have recognized a Palestinian State – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

A Cyprus Representation Office opened in Ramallah in the West Bank in 2009.

Malki said the decision sent a “very important message,” adding: “We hope this courageous step taken by Cyprus will be taken by others in the European Union.”

Palestinian Ambassador to Nicosia Walid Al-Hassan told AFP: “Now we have diplomatic representation in Cyprus like any other country in the world. This applies to our legal situation and the immunity which accompanies diplomatic status.”

On November 29, Cyprus also voted in favor of the successful Palestinian bid for upgraded UN General Assembly status.

“All official correspondence will now be done in the name of the State of Palestine. Cyprus is the first European state to upgrade Palestinian status since the UN vote,” Hassan said.

Marcoullis said Cyprus expressed “full support” for resolving concerns of Palestinian aspirations for
statehood and sovereignty and those of Israel for security, through a comprehensive negotiated peace based on a two-state solution.

Nicosia backs an enhanced EU role in efforts for renewed and substantial peace efforts in 2013.
Cyprus has expressed “deep dismay and strong opposition” at controversial Israeli settlement plans for an area near east Jerusalem known as E1.

“The E1 plan, if implemented, would seriously undermine the prospects of a negotiated resolution of the conflict,” Marcoullis said.

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