Monday, October 22, 2018

European countries consider recognising Palestine


By Marc Henry - September 25, 2018
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Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Statehood ] [European Union]

Both Spain and Ireland are ready to recognise Palestine as an independent state and urge other EU countries to join.

In 2014 Sweden became the first EU member to recognise Palestine as an independent state officially.
 
Following a severe backlash from Israel, other EU countries did not follow suit.
 
However, on Thursday Spain’s Foreign Minister Josep Borrell announced that his country was ready to follow in Sweden's footstep and urged other EU members to support.
 
At a conference of EU leaders in Austria, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the Spanish government will promote an EU move to recognise Palestine.
 
Borrell said that “if the EU is not able to reach a unanimous decision, then each to their own,” adding that if the move fails, the government will consider a Spain-only recognition of Palestine.
 
However, the news has not been met with utter joy in Spain. A pro-Israel lobbying group has warned that if Spain recognises a Palestinian state, Israel may do the same for the restive Catalonia region.
 
Spain was not the only country to support Palestine last week.
 
On Friday French President Emmanuel Macron said that France, too, was increasingly studying the possibility of recognising a Palestinian state.
 
This was followed on Saturday when Ireland's Foreign Minister Simon Conveney said that his country had planned to recognise a Palestinian state as a part of a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.
 
At the same time, Conveney stressed that the lack of any advance in peace talks meant that Ireland might recognise Palestine despite not reaching a peace agreement.
 
“We have made a choice not to officially recognise the state of Palestine just yet,” he said at a press conference in Dublin.
 
“But if this hopelessness continues in terms of the dialogue working we will be forced to review that for obvious reasons, as I think a lot of other countries in Europe will too.”
 
The Irish Foreign Minister also said Ireland was considering convening a gathering of Arab and European leaders to jumpstart peace talks.
 
“We discussed the idea of Ireland hosting a small informal meeting of a few Arab and European foreign ministers with Palestinian representatives in the coming months,” Conveney said.
 
According to the Palestinian Authority, 139 countries have recognised Palestine.
 
In January, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged the EU to recognise Palestine as an independent state following the United States administration’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the US embassy to Tel Aviv.

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