Spain to recognize ‘viable’ Palestinian state with 1967 borders

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Tuesday morning that his government will approve a measure to formally recognize Palestinian statehood later in the day.

“This is a historic decision that has a single goal — to contribute to achieving peace between Israelis and Palestine,” he said in a speech in Madrid.

Sanchez noted that Spain will recognize the Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, only recognizing changes that have been agreed upon by both parties.

“Although it’s not up to Spain to define the borders of other nations, our position is aligned with the resolutions of the UN Security Council, … and with the position traditionally held by the European Union,” he said.

Sanchez explained that the Palestinian state should be “viable” with the West Bank and Gaza connected with a corridor and East Jerusalem as its capital.

Spain will also recognize a unified Palestinian state governed by the Palestinian Authority, which Sanchez called "our partner for peace."

The move to recognize Palestine is not against Israel, but “shows our direct rejection of Hamas — which is against the two-state solution,” he stressed.

On Tuesday, Norway and Ireland are also set to formally recognize the Palestinian statehood as well.

“Today’s decision is based on international law and respect for the rules-based order — principles that guide us no matter what the context,” said Sanchez.

The Spanish leader added that from tomorrow, his focus will be on pushing for a viable two-state solution to bring lasting peace to the region.

To achieve a lasting two-state solution, Sanchez said the top priority is "putting an end to the crisis in Gaza," which includes achieving a permanent cease-fire, unhindered access to humanitarian aid to Gaza, and the release of all Israeli hostages.

Spain will also channel its energy into supporting the reforms of the Palestinian Authority. "It will need all our support," said Sanchez.

Finally, he said Spain will "continue to foster cooperation with partners committed to peace and prosperity in the region" to convene an international peace conference that will "implement" the two-state solution.

"With today's decision, we assume our responsibility in the search for peace, security, and prosperity of all people," he added.

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