June 16, 2024

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Spain, Ireland and Norway jointly recognize the State of Palestine

Spain, Ireland and Norway jointly recognize the State of Palestine

(Madrid) The decision on Wednesday by Spain and Ireland along with Norway to recognize a Palestinian state reinforces divisions on the issue within the European Union. War in Gaza.


It took months for the EU’s “27 member states” to demand a “ceasefire in Gaza” and to “reiterate their support for a two-state solution,” but “we have to be honest and recognize that this is not enough.” Earlier, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez agreed.

Spain, which has been maneuvering for months to join other European capitals, made the decision jointly with Dublin and another European country that does not belong to the EU, Norway.

Put “at risk” by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr. According to Sanchez, the two-state solution is “the only credible path to peace and security for Israel and Palestine,” said Dublin Irishman Simon Harris.

Madrid, Dublin and Oslo hope to join other European countries. In Brussels in March, Slovenian and Maltese leaders signed a joint statement with their Spanish and Irish counterparts in which the four countries expressed their willingness to recognize such a state.

The Slovenian government adopted a decree on May 9 recognizing the Palestinian state and intends to send it to parliament for approval by June 13.

Not a good time for Paris

According to the Palestinian Authority’s count, 193 UN The question of recognizing a Palestinian state – which 142 member states have recognized – is divisive within the EU.

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Until now, in 2014, Sweden was the only EU member state to do so, along with the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus.

In February, Paris took a significant diplomatic step by raising the possibility of unilateral recognition in the absence of Israeli willingness to reach a negotiated two-state solution. French President Emmanuel Macron said at the time that it was “no obstacle for France”.

On Wednesday, the French foreign minister assessed that the conditions for Paris had not been met, following Spain and Ireland who voted on May 10 – like Madrid and Dublin – in favor of annexing the state of Palestine at the UN.

“This decision must be effective, that is to say allow a decisive step at the political level” and “not just be a symbolic question or a question of political position,” Stéphane Sejournay confirmed in a written statement to AFP.

Germany defends a two-state solution, considering that such recognition should be the result of direct negotiations between the parties to the conflict.

Withdrawal of its ambassadors by Israel

Israel immediately announced it was recalling its ambassadors to Spain, Ireland and Norway for “consultations”, saying the decision would only feed “extremism and instability”. For its part, the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas welcomed the recognition as “an important step”.

Norway played a key role in the Middle East peace process in the 1990s, leading to the first negotiations that led to the Oslo Accords and the historic 1993 White House handshake between Israeli Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Yasser Arafat.

This process began in 1991 with the Israeli-Arab Peace Conference in Madrid.

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It was sparked by an unprecedented Hamas attack on the Gaza Strip on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.

Israel’s retaliation in the Gaza Strip has killed more than 35,000 people, most civilians, according to the Hamas health ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and militants.