European countries have agreed to upgrade Palestinian missions as embassies, trying to push for a Palestinian state, chief Palestinian Authority negotiator says.
Saeb Erakat said on Sunday that Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) missions abroad are a step closer towards becoming embassies of an "occupied state with defined borders."
Many countries around the world have recognized an independent, sovereign Palestinian state, as they have seen that the Middle East talks have amounted to nothing.
Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay announced earlier in December recognition of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, the boundaries that existed before Israel occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the West Bank.
Ten European Union countries are scheduled to upgrade the status of the Palestinian representative offices in their capitals in the near future, a step where the staff can enjoy full diplomatic immunity, Erakat told The Jerusalem Post.
Last week, Norway upgraded the standing of the Palestinian representation in Oslo from "general delegation" to a "diplomatic delegation," Erakat said.
The decision to seek international recognition of a Palestinian state was designed to shift the conflict from one over the "occupied Palestinian territories" to one over an "occupied state with defined borders," Erakat said.
"We urge the international community to salvage the two-state solution by recognizing a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders,” Erakat said, without saying which EU countries were expected to upgrade the status of the Palestinian representative missions.
The official said that while the Palestinians did not expect the recognition to end Israeli "occupation," it would increase international support for the Palestinians and their cause.