Abbas announces plans for 'Palestine' passports

PA chairman declares that within a year, PA passports will say "State of Palestine".

Ben Ariel,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Reuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday announced plans to begin issuing passports for the “State of Palestine” instead of the Palestinian Authority, The Associated Press (AP) reports.

The announcement came during a visit to Athens, where Abbas met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

The PA chairman said the plan will be implemented will happen in about a year at the most.

This is not the first time that Abbas has announced plans to issue “State of Palestine” passports. In 2012, after the United Nations overwhelmingly voted in favor of upgrading the PA's status at the organization to that of a "non-member observer state", Abbas issued guidelines ordering the PA government to re-issue passports, identity cards, registration documents, vehicle licenses, driver's licenses, stamps and postmarks with the name “State of Palestine” instead of Palestinian Authority.

But he later backed off from the plan, with his associates claiming Abbas feared that Israel would not recognize the new passports and not allow Palestinian Arabs to enter Israel through Israeli crossings.

Abbas, who arrived in Greece on Sunday, is due to address the country's Parliament on Tuesday.

His visit to Greece comes as the Greek Parliament is considering a vote on recognition of the “state of Palestine”.

During his meeting with Tsipras on Monday, Abbas said that putting an end to "the occupation" would also result in an end to terrorism.

"Ending the occupation will put a halt to all of the problems associated with it, such as terrorism," Abbas asserted. "And then end of terrorism will lead to finding solutions to problems arising from it like immigration."

"Any solution to the Palestinian problem," Abbas contended, "must be sustainable. We hold out our hand to the Israeli side to cooperate on finding a solution to the Palestinian problem."




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