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Slovenia, Spain prioritise recognition of Palestinian State

April 16, 2024 at 7:13 pm

Spanish Prime minister Pedro Sanchez speaks during the press conference at the Generalitat Palace in Barcelona, Spain on December 21, 2023 [Adria Puig/Anadolu Agency]

Slovenia and Spain agree on the need to formally recognise a Palestinian State as a way to end the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the leaders of the two countries said on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

They must also act to alleviate the suffering of the people of Gaza amid the war between Israel and Hamas in the Palestinian enclave, they said.

“The most important thing is that we have addressed a whole series of questions – when, not if, but when is the best moment to recognise Palestine,” Slovenian Prime Minister, Robert Golob, said at a joint news conference with Spain’s Pedro Sanchez.

Golob gave no timeline, saying the matter did not depend on Slovenia and Spain alone but on other international factors. But Slovenia would vote in the United Nations Security Council for full membership of a Palestinian State, he said.

Spain, long a champion of Palestinian rights, last month agreed with the leaders of Ireland, Malta and Slovenia to take the first steps towards recognising a Palestinian State.

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The efforts come as the death toll in Gaza from Israel’s offensive to crush Hamas neared 34,000. Much of the Territory has been flattened by Israeli bombardments, leaving most of the people destitute, while a famine looms.

Israel has said the four EU countries’ initiative would amount to a “prize for terrorism” that would reduce the chances of a negotiated resolution to the generations-old conflict. The latest Gaza war broke out after Hamas militants attacked southern Israel on 7 October, killing about 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostages.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

Sanchez’s visit to Slovenia was part of a tour of several European countries to try to garner support for the recognition of a Palestinian State.

Arab states and the European Union agreed at a meeting in Spain in November that a two-state solution was the answer to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The goal of an independent Palestinian State alongside Israel has long been the basis for international peace efforts, but these have been stalled for a decade.

Since 1988, 139 out of 193 United Nations member states have recognised Palestinian statehood.

READ: Ireland says moving closer to recognising Palestinian State