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Qatar, Saudi praise European countries' recognition of Palestine

Qatar, Saudi Arabia praise Ireland, Norway, Spain recognition of Palestinian state
2 min read
Qatar and Saudi Arabia have welcomed a decision by Ireland, Norway, and Spain to recognise Palestine as a state.
Saudi Arabia has praised a decision by Ireland, Norway, and Spain to recognise Palestine as a state [NurPhoto/Getty-file photo]

Qatar and Saudi Arabia praised a decision by Ireland, Norway, and Spain on Wednesday to recognise a Palestinian state and called on other countries to do the same.

Doha's foreign ministry welcomed the announcement as an "important step in supporting the two-state solution and achieving peace and stability in the region", expressing hope that other countries would follow suit.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasises that achieving comprehensive and just peace in the region depends on the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital," it said.

Riyadh's foreign ministry "expresses the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's welcome of the positive decision taken by the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Spain and the Republic of Ireland to recognise the sisterly State of Palestine", according to a statement posted on social media platform X.

"The kingdom appreciates this decision issued by friendly countries, which affirms the international consensus on the inherent right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and calls on the rest of the countries to quickly make the same decision."

The Gulf kingdom, home to Islam's holiest places, has long positioned itself as a champion of the Palestinian cause and has never recognised Israel.

However, its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said in September that progress was being made on a possible normalisation deal that would also involve beefed up security and other agreements with the United States.

Normalisation with Israel is highly controversial across the Arab world and Palestinians consider it a betrayal of their national cause.

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Since the Gaza war began in October, Saudi officials have said ties with Israel are impossible without "irrevocable" steps towards recognition of a Palestinian state, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long opposed.

Israel reacted with fury on Wednesday to the announcements by Norway, Spain, and Ireland, which said they would formally recognise the State of Palestine on Tuesday next week.

The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council also spoke out in support of the European countries' move on Wednesday, with secretary general Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi saying it represented "a pivotal and strategic step towards achieving the two-state solution", a statement said.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, based in the Saudi city of Jeddah, similarly welcomed the move as an "important historic step".