Washington – Palestinians Raise Flag At Washington Office


    Washington – In a symbolic gesture, the Palestinians on Tuesday raised their flag over the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington for the first time, as they continue a push for international recognition that is complicating the Obama administration’s efforts to restart stalled Mideast peace talks.

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    At a brief ceremony, the Palestinian’s chief envoy to the United States, Maen Areikat, hoisted the red, green, white and black banner outside the PLO General Delegation office. He expressed hope it would help in the Palestinian quest to win support for independence with or without a peace deal with Israel.

    “We are proud to see the flag,” Areikat said. “It’s about time that this flag that symbolizes the struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination and statehood is raised in the United States. We hope that this will help in the international efforts to provide recognition for the Palestinian state.”

    The envoy acknowledged the flag-raising has no practical effect for U.S. policy, but said it was an “important, significant step” toward seeking recognition from the United States and others. He said he hoped the Obama administration would move to recognize Palestine as an independent state, something the U.S. has said it will not do until there is a negotiated peace deal with Israel.

    Palestinian statehood is “an international interest, a U.S. interest and in the interest of all the parties in the Middle East,” Areikat said.

    The PLO office has had permission from the State Department to fly the flag since last August, when the mission was upgraded from a representative office to a general delegation, but had been awaiting permission from the building’s owner before displaying it, he said.

    The U.S. opposes any unilateral Palestinian move to establish statehood, but several other nations, notably in Latin America, have recently recognized Palestine, and the Palestinians are seeking broader support to bring statehood before the U.N. in September.

    In the meantime, the Palestinians are continuing to push for a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel for ongoing settlement activity in the West Bank.

    Combined with the push for international recognition, the resolution puts the administration in a difficult position. The United States is opposed to the construction of Israeli housing settlements but at the same time does not want to endorse a resolution that is critical only of Israel, its main Mideast ally.

    U.S. officials are grappling with whether or not to veto the resolution should it come to a vote in the council.

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    13 years ago

    solid times for the palestinians

    13 years ago

    How can there be a recognized state when the nation it represents doesn’t realy exist?

    13 years ago

    Flags flown especially in D.C. represent states.There is no state of Palestine .The UN and U.S. do not diplomatically recognize any such entity.At best it could be called arafatstan and soon another “state” – gazastan with its bloody flag will arise.
    The symbolism here is powerful.Unless the state department orders this sham removed ( it wont) it may be construed as de facto recognition by the the obomaists.
    Now what ? These barbarians have snuck a state in thru the back-door.
    This could never have happened and didn’t under Reagan OBM, even clinton , and the Bushes. They are emboldened by Oba-ma .Unfortuneately it looks like Israel lost this battle-=but the war goes on.

    13 years ago

    Let’s see if the US Government will do anything about it???!!! Isn’t it illegal to incite hatred and terrorism in the US?