An official source at the Syrian Foreign Ministry said Monday that Syria recognizes the state of Palestine on the lines of 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital on the basis of preserving the legitimate Palestinian rights, Xinhua reported.
In a statement carried by the official SANA news agency the unnamed source said that "Syria will view the office of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in Damascus as an embassy as of the date of issuing this statement."
Hamdi al-abdallah, a political analyst, told Xinhua by phone that "the Syrian step came to encourage other countries to recognize the state of Palestinian, adding, "if other countries recognize Palestine as a state, this should push the U.S. to change its stances toward the Palestinian issues."
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will visit several European countries to gather support for a UN vote on an independent Palestinian state.
The Palestinians took this decision after peace talks broke down last year. Israel and the United States oppose the Palestinian move as a unilateral step, saying the recognition of the Palestinian state should be the result of a negotiated agreement.
The U.S. threatened earlier to cut American aid if the Palestinian leadership continued to seek recognition of state from the United Nations.
Earlier this week, Arab states supported the Palestinians to go to the UN, as more than 100 countries recognize Palestine except the U.S., France and Britain.