Spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters last Friday [July 23] of the new arrangement for the mission: “They requested it, we evaluated it, and we recognized its importance to them, and we granted it. Just to clarify, there has been no change in the status of the Palestinian mission here in Washington,” said Crowley. “It operates under guidance provided by the State Department. It does not have any diplomatic privileges or immunities. At the request of the PLO representative, which we have granted given the improvement in the relations between the United States and Palestinians, they have requested permission to fly the Palestinian flag. And they have requested permission to call themselves the General Delegation of the PLO, which is a name that conforms to how they describe their missions in Europe, Canada, and several Latin American countries.”
Crowley noted the steps have “symbolic value” and “reflect improved relations between the United States and Palestinians,” but he also pointed out the moves “have no meaning under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations [which sets the basic legal framework for foreign representatives].”
When asked why the Palestinians were not allowed to fly the flag before, Crowley said, “I think under the guidelines that were established when a PLO office was established here in Washington, these were the set guidelines at the time. Over time, in this particular case, we’ve adapted them. But their status as a mission has not changed.”
Posted on July 29, 2010
Source: (By Joshua Spurlock, BFP Israel Mosaic Radio, July 28, 2010)
Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org/Orzetto
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