Cyprus upgrades Palestinian diplomatic status

Updated 08 February 2013
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Cyprus upgrades Palestinian diplomatic status

NICOSIA: Cyprus’ foreign minister says the Palestinian diplomatic mission to his country has been upgraded to embassy status.
Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis said after talks with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki yesterday that the upgrade is in line with Cyprus’ recognition of Palestinian statehood in 1988 along with seven other European countries that have also since become European Union members.
Cyprus supported the Palestinians’ successful bid last year in the United Nations General Assembly to elevate their status from UN observer to nonmember observer state.
Malki said there are some 100 Palestinian diplomatic missions around the world, most of which have full embassy status.


Berlin backs Macron’s Iran plan

In our view this agreement should be maintained, Merkel said. (AFP)
Updated 54 min 13 sec ago
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Berlin backs Macron’s Iran plan

  • Merkel will discuss Iran with Trump on a visit on Friday
  • Macron acknowledged that he does not know what Trump will decide

BERLIN, PARIS: Proposals presented by French President Emmanuel Macron on Iran’s nuclear deal are based on the existing international agreement but would add some new elements, a senior German official said on Thursday.

Speaking before Chancellor Angela Merkel heads to Washington for talks with US President Donald Trump, the official said: “The premise of Macron’s proposal is that the agreement remains in its existing form and additional elements come on top.” The official added: “In our view this agreement should be maintained.”

Trump has said he is not happy with the 2015 accord and may pull out of it. 

Iran’s President Hasan Rouhani insisted the deal cannot be changed or built on. 

The plan announced during Macron’s trip is part of European efforts to persuade Trump not to abandon the accord next month.

Merkel will discuss Iran with Trump on a visit on Friday.

The French president has meanwhile defended discussions with Trump for a new plan to curb Iranian nuclear weapons. Speaking to reporters before leaving Washington on Wednesday night, Macron said the new four-pronged agreement would be a “very important complement” to the existing 2015 accord.

Macron insisted on the importance of talking to all sides, including Iran ally Russia, and said the world should not force anything on Iran. He acknowledged that he does not know what Trump will decide.