Israel Condemns Norway's Upgrade of Palestinian Standing in Oslo to 'Diplomatic Delegation'

Foreign Ministry official warns that Palestinians won't want to renew peace talks with Israel if they start attaining political goals without negotiations.

Israel harshly condemned Norway on Thursday for upgrading the standing of the Palestinian representation in Oslo from a 'general delegation' to a 'diplomatic delegation'.

Naor Gilon, who heads the Western Europe division at the Foreign Ministry, summoned the Norwegian chargé daffaires in Tel Aviv for a conversation, telling him the Norwegian move is not acceptable and is a step that will harm the peace process.

"If the Palestinians start thinking that they can achieve political accomplishments without negotiations with Israel, they will never renew peace talks," Gilon told the Norwegian diplomat.

The Norwegian envoy said that in contrast to media reports, Norway has not recognized a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and the upgrading the standing of the Palestinian delegation in Oslo is simply a symbolic move without any practical consequences.

Over the past four months several countries have upgraded the standing of Palestinian representatives. The first country to have done so was none other than the United States. After the U.S., France, Spain, and Portugal also took similar steps. Despite this, the Foreign Ministry has yet to condemn these moves until now.

Mahmoud Abbas AP 28.10.2010

In the last two weeks more significant developments have occurred when several South American countries declared their recognition of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders. The first was Brazil, and Argentina and Uruguay followed.

Bolivia is also expected to recognize an independent Palestinian state in the coming days, after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke with Bolivian President Evo Morales regarding the subject.