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Greek parliament votes unanimously to recognise Palestine

Greece becomes one of nearly 200 UN-member states that recognises the state of Palestine
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Greek parliament on Tuesday (AFP)

Greece's parliament approved a resolution on Tuesday calling on the government to recognise the state of Palestine, in a special session attended by the visiting Palestinian president.

All Greece's parliamentary parties voted in favour of the move, the assembly's president Nikos Voutsis said.

It urges the Greek government to "promote appropriate procedures for the recognition of a Palestinian state and every diplomatic effort for the resumption of discussions for peace" in the region, Voutsis added.

Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras announced on Monday after talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Greece would no longer refer to the Palestinian Authority on official documents, but rather to Palestine.

Abbas's visit to Greece signals the "strengthening" of traditionally historic ties between the two, the premier said.

Athens has forged closer ties with Israel in recent years, especially in the field of energy, while retaining its traditionally good relations with the Palestinians.

Tsipras travelled to Israel last month when he met with both Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Greece will "judge the right time" for recognising a state of Palestine, taking into account its "brotherly relations with the Arab people and ties of cooperation with Israel," Tspiras added.

Palestine's flag was hoisted for the first time at UN headquarters in New York on 30 September in a symbolic gesture.

Abbas then took to the podium to call for universal recognition of Palestine.

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