The Palestinian Authority has asked its diplomats to attend training sessions Saturday in Gaza City in preparation for an independent state later this year, a Palestinian official told AFP.
"Consuls accredited to 22 Palestinian embassies in Arab countries and abroad have been called beginning Saturday for a training and reorientation session in relation to their new function" after the declaration of an independent state, said Ahmed Sobh, an official at the Palestinians' international cooperation ministry.
The diplomats will be trained for their new roles in high diplomatic postings, Sobh said.
Since the collapse of the Camp David summit with Israel on July 25th, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat has made contradictory statements, at times pledging to declare an independent state September 13th but then saying the proclamation will take place when the time is right.
Israel has warned that violence will erupt if the Palestinians declare a state without its consent, while the United States has said such a move would make Washington review its entire relationship with the Palestinians.
The Palestinian Liberation Organization Central Council will meet before September 13 to discuss the proclamation of an independent state, council president Salim Za'noon has said.
The Central Council last met July 3rd in Gaza City, several days before the Camp David summit, and called on Arafat to declare a state by the deadline with or without an agreement with Israel - GAZA CITY (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )