Israel worries over possible EU states' recognition of Palestinian state

09:06, January 26, 2011      

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by Dave Bender

Israel's efforts to stem a rising tide of recognition of a Palestinian state received a blow Tuesday afternoon, with Ireland's decision to upgrade the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Dublin to that of an embassy.

The announcement, broadcast by Israel Army Radio, followed a symbolic gesture of recognition by Peru on Monday.

Sources at Israel's foreign ministry said officials had been discussing the possibility, and foresaw even more states following suit.

"If the Palestinians spent one tenth of the time in serious negotiations that they do in largely meaningless gestures and attacking Israel in multilateral forums, then we could have probably realized an agreement," Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told Xinhua, in the wake of the announcement.

"The only way for them to reach their aspirations is via the negotiating table. We call on the Palestinians once again to join us at the negotiating table, without preconditions on either side, where all issues are on the table," Ayalon said.

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