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EU States Recognise Palestine, Call for Two-State Solution

In a historic move aimed at advancing peace in the Middle East, Spain, Norway, and Ireland have formally recognized the State of Palestine. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez described the establishment of a Palestinian state as “the only route to peace” and a matter of “historical justice.” This significant step follows a cabinet vote in Spain, along with similar actions taken by Norway and Ireland.


Speaking before the cabinet vote, Prime Minister Sanchez emphasized that peace could only be achieved through the establishment of a viable Palestinian state coexisting with Israel. “The state of Palestine must be viable with the West Bank and Gaza connected by a corridor and with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he stated. He also affirmed that Spain would not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders unless mutually agreed upon by Israelis and Palestinians.

Government spokesperson Pilar Alegria confirmed the cabinet’s decision, highlighting that the recognition aims to support both Israelis and Palestinians in achieving peace.

Prime Minister Sanchez emphasized that peace could only be achieved through the establishment of a viable Palestinian state coexisting with Israel. Photo courtesy Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In Oslo, Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide declared Norway’s recognition of Palestine as a milestone in the countries’ long-standing relationship. Norway, known for its advocacy of a Palestinian state for over three decades, sees this recognition as a pivotal moment.

In Ireland, the Palestinian flag was raised outside the Irish parliament, marking the cabinet’s approval of formal recognition. Prime Minister Simon Harris emphasized that this action symbolizes Ireland’s commitment to the two-state solution, despite ongoing conflict in Gaza. Harris called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to heed international calls to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The recent recognitions have sparked controversy within the European Union. Israel has reacted strongly, with Foreign Minister Israel Katz accusing Spain’s Sanchez of inciting Jewish genocide. Katz also condemned Spanish Second Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz’s call for a free Palestine “from the river to the sea,” comparing her stance to that of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar.

Israel has recalled its ambassadors from Spain, Ireland, and Norway, further straining relations with these EU states.

Palestine has been recognised by 144 countries worldwide. Within the European Union, Sweden, Cyprus, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria have previously recognised Palestine. The United Kingdom and Australia are considering recognition, while France believes the timing is not right. Germany, aligning with the United States, maintains that a two-state solution should be achieved through dialogue rather than unilateral actions.

The recognition by Spain, Norway, and Ireland marks a significant shift in European policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It highlights a growing frustration with the lack of progress towards peace and reflects an increasing willingness among some EU states to take decisive actions in support of a two-state solution. The international community will be watching closely to see how these developments influence the broader geopolitical landscape and the ongoing efforts to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.


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