PLO expects U.S. recognition after Palestinian flag hoisted in Washington

10:41, January 20, 2011      

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Hoisting the Palestinian flag at the Palestinian mission's headquarter in Washington is a U.S. step towards recognizing a Palestinian state, the Palestine Liberation Organization said Wednesday.

The U.S. State Department's approval to upgrade the Palestinian representation office to a mission and allowing the flag to be raised "is an official U.S. acknowledgment of the Palestinian presence in the United States," the PLO said in a statement.

Head of the PLO's mission in Washington Maen Arikat raised the flag Tuesday night. The move boosts a Palestinian drive to obtain international recognition of their right to have a state alongside Israel.

The Palestinians stepped up their efforts to gain more recognition after U.S.-brokered peace talks halted in September due to a dispute on Jewish settlement building.

The Palestinians said they cannot negotiate with Israel while construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967, continues.

A string of Latin America countries, including Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador, have already recognized the Palestinian right.

On Tuesday, the Palestinians got support from Russian President Dmitri Medvedev who said that Russia maintains its previous position regarding the Palestinian state. Medvedev, on a visit to the West Bank, was referring to the former Soviet Union's recognition of the Palestinian state which late leader Yasser Arafat declared in 1988.

Source: Xinhua
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