Italy upgrades Palestinian delegation to mission

By Jennifer Lipman, May 16, 2011
Mahmoud Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas

Italy is to follow in the footsteps of the United Kingdom, France and Spain and upgrade the status of the Palestinian delegation in Rome to a full diplomatic mission.

The announcement by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano comes just days after Silvio Berlusconi pledged that Italy would not accept a unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinians.

Mr Napolitano said the decision, which means the head of the Palestinian delegation will take on the status of ambassador, showed the strong ties between Italy and the Palestinian Authority.

He revealed the upgrade during a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.

Last updated: 2:38pm, May 16 2011