20th June 2024
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Spain, Ireland, Slovenia to symbolically recognise Palestinian state on 21 May

Spain, Ireland and Slovenia, plan to symbolically recognise a Palestinian state on 21 May, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell (main image) said on Friday.

He confirmed the date in an interview with Spanish public radio after Ireland’s public broadcaster RTE said that was when all three countries were planning to act.

‘As far as I know yes, because that’s what minister (José Manuel) Albares told me,’ he said referring to Spain’s foreign minister.

Slovenia’s government said on Thursday it had passed a decree on recognising a Palestinian state which would be put to its parliament by mid-June.

‘After that there will likely be more’ nations following suit ‘because Belgium has also decided to do it’, Borrell added.

The bloodshed of Israel’s seven-month war in Gaza, which began after the 7 October attacks, has revived calls for the Palestinians to be given their own state, with a growing number of EU countries expressing a desire to do so.

‘Obviously, this is a politically symbolic act … rather than recognising an actual state, it is recognising the desire that this state should exist,’ Borrell said.

Questioned by journalists, Albares – who is currently in Washington – did not confirm the date, nor did he say when the matter would be put to Spain’s cabinet.

In March, Spain, Ireland, Malta and Slovenia issued a joint statement saying they were ‘ready to recognise Palestine’ when ‘the circumstances are right’ if it could help bring about a resolution of the conflict.

Last month, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said recognising a Palestinian state was ‘in Europe’s geopolitical interests’, telling Spaniash MPs: ‘The international community can’t help the Palestinian state if it doesn’t recognise its existence.’

His address came after a visit to the Middle East during which he expressed hope Spain would recognise Palestinian statehood by the end of June.

Despite the growing number of EU countries in favour of such a move, neither France nor Germany support the idea. Western powers have long argued such recognition should only happen as part of a negotiated peace with Israel.

So far, 137 of the 193 UN member states have recognised a Palestinian state, according to figures provided by the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.

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