In a move that skirts European Union foreign policy, Belgium has announced its intention to upgrade the status of the PLO mission in its country.
Belgium Foreign Minister Didier Reynders tweeted that “As Belgium joins the Security Council, long and rich discussion with Riad Malki of Palestine on ways to relaunch a peace process toward a common sustainable future for two states, Israel and Palestine, as well as on the role of the EU & the U.N.”
The reference was to Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki, and the use of the term “of Palestine” intimated a status that the PA does not have.
In his tweet, Reynders said that his country had set with Malki “new priorities for development cooperation, training of diplomats, enhanced status for the Palestinian Mission in Brussels.”
The EU, of which Belgium is a member, holds that Palestinian statehood must await conclusion of a final status agreement with Israel for a two-state solution.
Sweden is the only western EU member to break with EU policy, recognizing Palestine as a state in 2014.