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Palestinian envoy to Belgium, EU cites status upgrade

30 November 2012, 17:17 CET
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(BRUSSELS) - The representative of the Palestinian Authority to Belgium and the European Union will become "Palestinian ambassador," she said Friday.

A day after winning an upgraded status at the United Nations, Leila Shahid told Belgian public RTBF radio: "Belgium, via Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, has just accorded me the title of ambassador, head of mission for a Palestinian delegation whose status has been upgraded to mission of Palestine."

Shahid's title until now was "general delegate" for the Palestinians at the EU, Belgium and neighbouring Luxembourg.

Reynders indicated Thursday that he had written to PA leader Mahmud Abbas outlining the change in status within Belgium, which houses the EU headquarters, and is technically awaiting a response from Abbas before the diplomatic upgrade takes effect.

Belgium was one of the overwhelming majority that voted for non-member observer status for Palestine at the UN General Assembly on Thursday night.

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