What did Ireland, Norway and Spain announce on a Palestinian state?

3 weeks ago 31

Updated

May 23, 2024, 09:31 PM

Published

May 23, 2024, 09:31 PM

Spain, Norway and Ireland announced that they will recognise a Palestinian state on May 28 and they urged other European states to follow their lead.

The three countries said they hoped their decision would accelerate efforts towards securing a ceasefire in Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza, which is now in its eighth month.

Below are some of the key elements related to that decision.

WHAT DID IRELAND, NORWAY SPAIN ANNOUNCE?

The three countries recognised a Palestinian state with its borders to be demarcated as they were prior to 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and Palestine.

However, they also recognised that those borders may change in any eventual talks to reach a final settlement.

Ireland said it would upgrade its representative office in the West Bank to a full embassy and the Palestinian mission in Ireland will also be offered full embassy status.

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris also stressed that recognising a Palestinian state does not diminish Ireland's belief in Israel's right to exist in peace and security - a position that he said was unequivocal.

WHO ELSE HAS RECOGNISED PALESTINE?

About 144 of the 193 member-states of the United Nations recognise Palestine as a state, including most of the global south, Russia, China and India. But only a handful of the 27 European Union members do so, mostly former Communist countries as well as Sweden and Cyprus.

Other states have said they are considering following suit, including Britain, Australia, Malta and Slovenia.

    WHY IS THIS SIGNIFICANT?

The decision to recognise Palestinian statehood by three major European nations is mostly symbolic, but it makes Israel appear more isolated on the international stage.

Alon Liel, a former director general of Israel's foreign ministr...

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