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      Cyprus Jumps on PA ‘Mission’ Ploy

      Cyprus is the latest country to jump on the Palestinian Authority “mission” bandwagon, which Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon says is meaningless.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 5/9/2011, 12:09 PM / Last Update: 5/9/2011, 2:38 PM

      Israel news photo

      Cyprus is the latest country to jump on the Palestinian Authority “mission” bandwagon, which Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon says is meaningless.

      Nicosia said it has “upgraded” the status of its delegation to the PA to that of "mission," following the lead of several other countries, including Britain, France and Spain. Denmark made the same move in March.

      The meaning of the change is that a head of a country’s delegation can take on the title of ambassador and present his credentials to the president of the host country instead of its foreign minister.

      Cyprus’ action fulfills its promise earlier this year to upgrade the status of the delegation, but the status of  “mission” does not mean diplomatic recognition of the Palestinian Authority as a country.

      The “mission” tactic is part of the Palestinian Authority’s strategy to create a diplomatic environment for international recognition of the PA as a country within Israel’s borders. The PA claims that the Jewish State should be confined to the temporary 1949 Armistice Lines drawn up in a United Nations agreement after the Arab League failed to annihilate the fledgling Jewish state in the War for Independence.

      Ayalon said several weeks ago that countries’ delegations becoming “missions” to the PA does not change the facts on the ground.

      "Whoever deludes the Palestinians into thinking that they can establish a state unilaterally, without negotiations, is diminishing the chances for peace and for a Palestinian state," Ayalon told reporters during a briefing for foreign ambassadors.