Spain, Ireland, Norway recognise Palestinian state

n PM Shehbaz welcomes Spain’s announcement

MADRID   -  Spain, Ireland and Norway are formally recognising a Palestinian state on Tuesday in a decision slammed by Israel as a “reward” for Hamas more than seven months into the devastating Gaza war.

The three European countries believe their initiative has strong symbolic impact, which is likely to encourage others to follow suit. “Recognition of the State of Palestine is not only a matter of historic justice. Is it also an essential requirement if we are all to achieve peace,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said before meeting his cabinet. The move, he said, was “not against anyone, least of all Israel”.

“It is the only way to move towards the solution that we all recognise as the only possible way to achieve a peaceful future -- that of a Palestinian state living side-by-side with the state of Israel in peace and security.”

Sanchez also said the decision reflected Spain’s “outright rejection of Hamas, which is against the two-state solution” and whose October 7 attacks led to the Gaza war. The plans were unveiled last week in a coordinated announcement by the prime ministers of the three countries.

Both the Spanish and Irish cabinets were meeting to formally approve the step on Tuesday morning, while Norway informed Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Mustafa its recognition would also take effect the same day.

Entering the cabinet meeting, Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said it was “an important moment”.

He said it sent “a signal to the world is that there are practical actions you can take as a country to help keep the hope... of a two-state solution alive”.

Also, Slovenian government will consider a proposal this week to recognize an independent Palestinian state, according to Prime Minister Robert Golob.

A government meeting on Thursday will consider forwarding “the recognition of Palestine” to the country’s legislature for approval, Golob in a statement.

“In the meantime, we will continue to coordinate with a group of like-minded countries in order to create maximum pressure for an immediate ceasefire and release of the hostages,” the prime minister said.

“As a responsible member of the [UN] Security Council, we have an obligation to do everything in our power to bring about lasting peace in the Middle East.”

Golob initiated the process “of recognizing Palestine as an independent and sovereign state” on May 9.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday welcomed the announcement by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to formally recognise Palestine as a state.

The prime minister, in a statement, said that the recognition of Palestine as a state by Spain was a positive development in the international scenario which also manifested the rejection of Israeli barbarism against the unarmed Palestinians by the Spanish people and their Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

He strongly condemned the recent unprovoked Israeli bombing of Rafah which martyred another 45 Palestinian people, and reiterated his call for an immediate end to the genocide of Palestinian population being carried out by Israel.

He reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to continue extending moral, political and diplomatic support to the Palestinian people till the establishment of an independent Palestine state with Quds Al Sharif as its capital.

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