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Spanish parliament supports motion recognising Palestinian state

Spanish lawmakers decided on Tuesday to urge the government to recognise Palestine as a democratic state living safely and securely beside Israel.

According to the Jerusalem Post newspaper, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Garcia-Margallo expressed his "satisfaction that all (political parties) decided to vote for this declaration".

The motion came after similar nonbinding parliamentary votes took place in both Britain and Ireland. Meanwhile, Sweden's government already announced its recognition of a Palestinian state and the King congratulated Palestine on its "National Day" on 15 November.

Heated discussions took place in the Spanish parliament during the vote when media reports emerged of an attack on a Jewish synagogue in Jerusalem. This prompted the ruling People's Party (PP) to add a paragraph promoting an international solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that "takes fully into account the legitimate worries, interests and aspirations of the State of Israel".

According to Reuters news agency, Rodriguez-Salmones of the PP, which holds an absolute majority in the lower house, told the debate her party would not back a unilateral recognition of the Palestinian state "at a time of intense pain for Israel".

"It is not the right time to seek a unilateral recognition. Peace and a peaceful cohabitation between two states are the objective … The method is a negotiation between the two," she said.

The compromise motion was ultimately passed by all parties. "The parliament urges the government to recognise Palestine as a state," the text of the motion said, "This recognition should be the consequence of a process negotiated between the parties that guarantees peace and security for both, the respect of the rights of the citizens and regional stability."

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