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Armenia recognizes Palestine as state; Israel summons Armenian ambassador

A student protester waves a Palestinian flag above Hamilton Hall on the campus of Columbia University in New York City on April 30. Armenia announced on Friday that it will recognize Palestine as a state. File Photo by Mary Altaffer/UPI
A student protester waves a Palestinian flag above Hamilton Hall on the campus of Columbia University in New York City on April 30. Armenia announced on Friday that it will recognize Palestine as a state. File Photo by Mary Altaffer/UPI | License Photo

June 21 (UPI) -- Armenia on Friday recognized an independent Palestinian state, prompting Israel to summon its ambassador.

"Based on the foregoing and reaffirming our commitment to international law and the principles of equality, sovereignty and peaceful coexistence of peoples, the Republic of Armenia recognizes the State of Palestine," Armenia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

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Armenia said the so-called "two-state solution," which is backed by other nations including the United States, is the best option to bring peace to the region.

"We are convinced that this is the only way to ensure that both Palestinians and Israelis can fulfill their legitimate aspirations," the ministry said.

Armenia added it has called for a settlement to the Isareli-Hamas conflict, saying that it "rejects the targeting of civilian infrastructure, violence against the civilian population and hostage-taking of civilians during armed conflict."

The Palestinian Authority praised Armenia's decision.

"This recognition contributes positively to preserve the two-state solution, which faces systemic challenges, and promotes security, peace, and stability for all parties involved," the Palestinian presidency office in Ramallah said.

The announcement stirred anger in Israel with the country summoning the Armenian ambassador for a "harsh reprimand conversation."

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Armenia's actions come in the footsteps of a United Nations panel that earlier this month called for all countries to recognize Palestine as a state. The panel said it would give the Palestinian people the "political and diplomatic leverage" to bring a cease-fire to the current conflict.

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