• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Spain, Ireland and Norway to recognize independent Palestinian state


Ireland, Spain and Norway are to officially recognise a Palestinian state, it was announced on Wednesday.

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said his country’s move was coordinated with Spain and Norway, calling it “an historic and important day for Ireland and for Palestine.”

He said it was intended to help move the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to resolution through a two-state solution.

Ireland was recognising Palestine because “we believe in freedom and justice as fundamental principles of international law,” Mr Harris said at Government Buildings in Dublin.
“We said the point of recognising the state of Palestine was coming closer, that point has now arrived,” he said.

“Today, Ireland, Norway and Spain are announcing that we recognise the state of Palestine.

“Each of us will now undertake whatever national steps are necessary to give effect to that decision.”

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said that his country will recognise Palestine as a state on May 28. Mr Sánchez, Spain’s Socialist leader since 2018, made the expected announcement to the nation’s Parliament on Wednesday.

Israel’s foreign affairs minister has called the decision by Ireland and other nations to recognise Palestine a “distorted step”.

“I have instructed the immediate recall of Israel’s ambassadors to Ireland and Norway for consultations in light of these countries’ decisions to recognise a Palestinian state,” Israel Katz said on Twitter.

“I’m sending a clear and unequivocal message to Ireland and Norway: Israel will not remain silent in the face of those undermining its sovereignty and endangering its security.”
But Mr Harris said in response: “Israel loses nothing from the recognition of the state of Palestine.”

The UK does not recognise a Palestinian state, arguing like France that it will only do so at the “right time” to make progress towards peace in the region.

Before the announcement, some 143 out of 193 member-states of the United Nations recognised a Palestinian state.

It comes just days after prosecutors at the International Criminial Court applied for arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, for war crimes.

Rishi Sunak branded the move a “deeply unhelpful development”.
Speaking to reporters in Vienna on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said: “This is a deeply unhelpful development. Of course it is still subject to a final decision, but it remains deeply unhelpful nonetheless.”