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Greece holds ceremony for Palestinian ambassador

Feb. 15, 2011 8:47 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 16, 2011 9:35 P.M.)
ATHENS, Greece (Ma’an) -- Palestinian Ambassador to Greece Samir Abu Ghazala presented his credentials to Greek President Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday, following the upgrade of Palestine's diplomatic status in the country.

An official ceremony was held at the Central Hall of the Republican Palace in Athens.

Abu Ghazala and four Palestinian diplomats held a procession from the Palestinian embassy to the palace in a car decorated with the Palestinian flag.

He greeted the Greek president on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas, and expressed his pride in being the first Palestinian ambassador to present his credentials in Greece.

The Greek government's decision to upgrade Palestine's diplomatic status was evidence of the depth of the historic friendship between the Greek and Palestinian peoples, he added.

Abu Ghazala said that the move followed diplomatic efforts by the Palestinian Authority to gain international recognition of the Palestinian state.

The Greek military band played the Palestinian national anthem as the new ambassador left the palace.

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