Britain to Boost Palestinian Recognition

The move comes after improvements in Palestinian governance
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2010 3:08 AM CST
British Foreign Secretary William Hague, left, sits with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad during their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah last month.   (AP Photo/Abbas Momani, Pool)

(Newser) – Britain is poised to give Palestinians diplomatic recognition, despite the collapse of US-sponsored peace talks and the risk of triggering Israeli fury, reports the Independent. Britain's upgrade—which is largely symbolic and stops short of allowing the Palestinian representative to present credentials to the queen—is in response to improvements by the Palestine administration in governance, transparency, and security, and follows similar moves in the summer by France, Spain, and Portugal.

Britain's move will increase pressure on Israel's government to advance negotiations with the Palestinians. US officials said earlier this month they would end efforts to convince Israel to renew a moratorium on settlement housing in exchange for resuming direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. But Palestinians have said they would not participate in talks without a freeze.

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