Denmark, Finland upgrade Palestinian ties

May 5, 2013 at 7:21 AM

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, May 5 (UPI) -- Denmark and Finland plan to upgrade relations with the Palestinians, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

"The governments of Denmark and Finland wish to upgrade the status of the respective Palestinian Missions in Copenhagen and Helsinki, " a joint statement released by the ministry said Saturday. "The joint intention by the two countries to present to the Palestinian Government a draft agreement that would give a status equivalent to that of an embassy to the Palestinian Missions in their respective capitals should be seen not least in the context of the on-going Nordic cooperation," the statement said.

"With this decision, all Nordic countries will be offering the same working conditions for official Palestinian representatives as is the case for accredited diplomats serving in an embassy of a recognized state."

The upgraded status is expected to be implemented this year, the ministry said.

"Denmark and Finland encourage the governments in Israel and Palestine to engage in direct peace negotiations with a view to reaching a negotiated two- state solution. The intended upgrade of the status of the Palestinian Missions does not entail a formal bilateral recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state by Denmark and Finland," the statement said.

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