British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, stated Monday that his country has decided to upgrade the status of the official Palestinian delegation in London to the level of a Mission, similar to moves made by a number of European Union countries.Hague to the British parliament that London has been closely working with the Palestinian Authority, and providing it with aid, and that his country has decided to upgrade this status to a level of a mission.
The British decision followed similar moves made by Ireland, Spain, France and Portugal. Norway, a non EU country, has also upgraded the Palestinian status and granted the Palestinian diplomatic delegation to the status of embassy.
Hague and Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, will be holding talks in London on Tuesday. Abbas is also scheduled to hold a meeting with Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Israel was not satisfied with the British decision, and claimed that this decision will not provide incentives to the Palestinians to return to the negotiations table.
An official at the Israeli embassy in London said that the missing issue that obstructs the upgrade in the situation is what he called “the missing willingness of the Palestinians to return to peace talks”.
Peace talks were obstructed in September of last year after Israel resumed its settlement construction, following a nine-month freeze, in the occupied territories and in occupied East Jerusalem.
Talks were also obstructed as Israel demolished several Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and issued orders for the demolition of more homes.
While settlements are illegal under international law, Israel insists on what it calls “its right to construct settlements”, and that “unified Jerusalem is not a settlement, and that it is the eternal capital of Israel”.