June 16, 2024

Norway declares ‘milestone’ as it formally recognizes Palestinian state

Norway’s foreign minister said Tuesday marks “a milestone in the relationship between Norway and Palestine,” as the country officially recognizes a Palestinian state.

“For more than 30 years, Norway has been one of the strongest advocates for a Palestinian state,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said in a statement Tuesday, as the country’s formal recognition came into effect. “I have confidence that the Palestinian government will continue the difficult job of reform and lay the foundations for governing both the West Bank and Gaza after a ceasefire.”

“It is regrettable that the Israeli government shows no signs of engaging constructively,” the Norwegian foreign minister said.

“The international community must increase its political and economic support for Palestine and continue the work for a two-state solution,” he added.

Eide handed the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority Mohammed Mustafa “a formal document of recognition” when they met in Brussels on Sunday.

Norway, Spain and Ireland each publicly announced plans on May 22 to formally recognize a Palestinian state on May 28.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said last week that “there will be no peace in the Middle East without a two-state solution.” Støre added that a Palestinian state was “a prerequisite for achieving peace in the Middle East.”

The Spanish government officially recognized a Palestinian state on Tuesday in a cabinet meeting, Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares told a news conference in Madrid.

Just before the cabinet meeting, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said in a nationally televised address that Spain would join “more than 140 countries that already recognize Palestine” and that it “is the only way to realize the solution that we all recognize as the only possible one to achieve a future of peace: that of a Palestinian State that coexists alongside the State of Israel in peace and security.”

Ireland became the latest country to officially recognise a Palestinian state, joining Norway and Spain who did the same this morning.

“The government recognizes Palestine as a sovereign and independent state and agreed to establish full diplomatic relations between Dublin and Ramallah,” a statement said.

An Irish ambassador will be appointed to the state of Palestine “along with a full Embassy of Ireland in Ramallah”, it said.

Irish PM Simon Harris said that a two-state solution “is the only way for Israel and Palestine to live side by side in peace and security”.

The 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 said 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.

On Sunday, Slovenian Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon told Al Jazeera: “We’ve decided we have a moral duty, at least a symbolic duty, to give hope to Palestinians with this further step on recognition.” Fajon added there is a need to help “reform Palestinian authorities in Ramallah to be able, one day, also to control Gaza,” as she also expressed hope that “other countries will follow us.”

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