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Slovenian president calls for starting recognition of State of Palestine

LJUBLJANA, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Slovenian President Borut Pahor expressed on Tuesday that early recognition of the State of Palestine will be instrumental to the Middle East peace process.

It is time for the world community to start procedures for recognising the Palestinian Authority as the authorities of an independent country. Such effort will encourage the Palestinians and Israel to seek out a breakthrough on the principle of two-states, Slovenian Press Agency quoted Pahor as reporting.

It has been noticed that Pahor received in October the credentials of Palestinian diplomatic representative Salah Abdel-Shafi with full honors.

Salah Abdel-Shafi presented his credentials to Pahor in the name of Palestinian ambassador, a protocol reserved for the full-fledged ambassadors of foreign countries.

It was the first of its kind since Ljubljana decided to upgrade the status of the Palestinian mission earlier this year, said Slovenian mass media.

Under the latest policy, head of the Palestinian diplomatic mission to Slovenia will present his credentials directly to the top leader of Slovenia.

The Slovenian Foreign Ministry will also replace the Palestinian Authority with Palestine in official bilateral communication, the President's Office said in a statement three weeks ago.

Slovenia has been looking to boost cooperation with the Palestinians and stands for peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Pahor paid a visit to the Palestinian territories and had talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in July 2011 when he was Slovenian prime minister.

On Monday, Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec said that the recognition of the State of Palestine would be a "step in the right direction."

However, he indicated in late October that Slovenia would not officially recognize the State of Palestine until the European Union (EU) takes a common position of the issue.

Instead of giving a clear answer to a question about the status of the Palestinians at a session of the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee, Erjavec said Slovenia would keep a close eye on what is going on.

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