PA 'foreign minister': A new country will recognize 'Palestine'

PA "foreign minister" Riyad al-Malki says a new country will be recognizing the State of “Palestine” by the end of the month.

Elad Benari ,

Riyad al-Malki
Riyad al-Malki
Flash 90

Riyad al-Malki, the Palestinian Authority (PA) “foreign minister”, said on Sunday that a new country will be recognizing the State of “Palestine” by the end of the month, reported the PA Wafa news agency.

Al-Malki told Palestine TV that the move is an indication of the strenuous efforts by the PA leadership at the political and diplomatic levels on the way forward to statehood and independence.

While he did not identify the country that will recognize “Palestine”, Al-Malki added that he is scheduled to start visits to Latin American countries, including Ecuador and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, for talks on bilateral relations.

He noted that following his visits to Latin America, he would come back home with a new recognition of “Palestine” as an independent state.

Several European countries have recognized “Palestine” in recent years, but those moves were symbolic ones that have little, if any, actual diplomatic effect.

In Latin America, Colombia announced last August that it had decided to “recognize Palestine as a free, independent and sovereign state.” However, the country’s government later said it would review the decision.

PA officials have been pressuring countries to officially recognize “Palestine”, in a move meant to bypass direct peace talks with Israel.

On a separate issue, al-Malki said on Sunday that the PA cabinet has been working towards mobilizing financial aid from Arab countries to help cope with the current financial crisis affecting the government, as a result of Israel’s withholding of the PA tax revenues.

Israel has been offsetting of the PA’s payments to terrorists from the tax money it collects on behalf of the PA.

The PA has refused to accept the tax transfers from Israel unless they contain the entire amount.