This year we are celebrating 10 years since the opening of the Office of the Representative of the Republic of Poland to the Palestinian national Authority in Ramallah. We have commissioned 2 new logos to commemorate this and here we present a brief outline of the stages in Polish-Palestinian relations.
Stages in Polish-Palestinian relations
Official contact between Poland and the political representation of the Palestinian people – the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) - was established in the mid-70s. PLO mission to the Committee of Solidarity with the Asian, African and South American nations, was opened in 1976, however it was not granted the status of a diplomatic mission.
In the 70s the Polish attitude towards the Palestinian issue was based on ideological and political elements as well as resulting from recognition of existing facts and the belief that long-lasting peace and stability in the Middle East are impossible to achieve without fulfilment of the national aspirations of Palestinians. At the same time Poland recognised the right of Israel to peaceful existence.
Diplomatic relations between Poland and the PLO were established in July 1982 (after Israeli aggression in Lebanon). Representation of the PLO received the official status of a diplomatic mission, and its director - with the status of ambassador - the privilege of accreditation to the head of state.
Renaming the PLO mission in Warsaw to “The Embassy of the Palestinian State” took place in 1989 during the visit of Mr. Arafat due to a unilateral Palestinian decision and it was then adopted by the Polish authorities (the Polish position resulted from the decision of the UN General Assembly from December 15, 1988 concerning the use of the name “Palestine” instead of “PLO”). As a result of the signing of the peace agreement between the PLO and Israel in 1995, the name “Embassy of Palestine” started to be used in order to stress the fact that the peace process will result in the creation of a Palestinian state.
Representation of the Republic of Poland to the Palestinian National Authority in Ramallah was established in January 2005. Until 1994 the Polish Embassy in Tunis maintained working contacts with PLO headquarters. From April 2, 1997 a diplomatic representative of the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv was the liaison to the Palestinian Authority.
Poland recognised the proclamation act of the Palestinian State, which was adopted during the nineteenth session of the Palestinian National Council (parliament in exile) in Algiers on November 15, 1988 – A spokesman of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement from November 16, 1988 expressed “readiness to cooperate with Palestinian authorities from the moment they will be created”. The Resolution of the UN General Assembly from December 15, 1988 (A/RES/43/177) was a form of a collective recognition of the Palestinian state. 104 countries including Poland and other Eastern bloc countries, voted in favour of the resolution.
Palestinian authorities adopted the Polish position from 1988 and consider it to be still in force. Accordingly, the Palestinian authority did not expect Poland to reconfirm its adoption.
Characteristics of relations: Polish-Palestinian relations are traditionally characterised by a friendly atmosphere and good cooperation. There are no problems in bilateral relations. Poland supports the right of the Palestinian people to self-governance and its aspirations to achieving an independent Palestinian state as a result of the Middle East peace process. Both sides maintain high level political dialogue. Parliamentary friendship groups are operating. Cooperation in many fields is developing, especially in the field of tourism and cultural relations. Cooperation takes also place at the local governmental level (among others cooperation between Lublin and Ramallah).
The Association of Palestinian Alumni from Polish Universities and a scholarship assistance program for students were established. Poland assists the Palestinian National Authority with assistance grants as well as contributing to the voluntary fund for Palestinian refugees.
On 23 November 2019, EuroPal Forum and Middle East Monitor co-hosted a conference at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury in London on the relations between Europe and Palestine. A first of its kind, the conference brought together individuals at the forefront of discourse on Palestine in
As the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rules that European Union countries must identify products made in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, MEMO and EuroPal Forum are hosting a conference to discuss the EU’s position on major issues related to the occupat