Spain, Norway, and Ireland Formally Recognize Palestinian State

EU states announce formal recognition of Palestinian state

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez asserted that establishing a Palestinian state is “the only route to peace” in the Middle East, as his country, alongside Norway and Ireland, formally recognized Palestine on Tuesday.

Sanchez addressed the nation before the cabinet vote that approved the previously announced plan. Norway’s recognition also came into effect, while Ireland was set to follow later in the day. Spanish government spokesperson Pilar Alegria announced the cabinet’s “important decision to recognize a Palestinian state,” aiming “to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve peace.”

Sanchez labeled the move “a matter of historical justice.” He emphasized, “The only route towards establishing peace is the establishment of a Palestinian state, living side by side with the state of Israel. The state of Palestine must be viable with the West Bank and Gaza connected by a corridor and with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Madrid will not acknowledge any alterations to pre-1967 borders unless both parties agree. The occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip were territories Israel seized in 1967 during the Arab-Israeli War.

In March, the leaders of Spain, Ireland, Malta, and Slovenia considered recognizing a Palestinian state as a positive contribution towards ending the Gaza conflict. As Norway’s recognition took effect, Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide stated, “For more than 30 years, Norway has been one of the strongest advocates for a Palestinian state. Today, when Norway officially recognizes Palestine as a state, is a milestone.

Simultaneously, the Palestinian flag was raised outside the Irish parliament in Dublin. Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris remarked, “This is an important moment… that sends a signal to the world that there are practical actions you can take as a country to help keep the hope and destination of a two-state solution alive.”

Israel’s fury escalated over the announcements, exacerbating disagreements with some EU states concerning the ongoing Gaza conflict. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused Sanchez of inciting Jewish “genocide.”

Spain, Ireland, and Norway announced their recognition plan last week, prompting Israel to recall its ambassadors from all three nations. Palestine has already gained recognition from 144 other countries. Among the 27 EU members, Sweden, Cyprus, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria have recognized Palestine. The UK and Australia are considering recognition, while France deems it untimely. Germany and the US reject a unilateral approach, insisting that dialogue is the only path to a two-state solution.

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