Slovenia becomes latest EU country to recognise Palestinian state

Slovenia becomes latest EU country to recognise Palestinian state
Slovenia has become the latest county to recognise Palestine as an independent state in its national parliament, despite opposition from the hard right.
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Slovenia's government has been one of the most supportive of the Palestinian cause since onset of the Gaza war [Getty]

Slovenia became the latest European Union country to recognise an independent Palestinian state after its parliament approved the move with majority vote on Tuesday, dismissing a call for a referendum on the issue by the largest opposition party.

The government last week decided to recognise Palestine as an independent and sovereign state following in the steps of Spain, Ireland and Norway as part of a wider effort to coordinate pressure on Israel to end the conflict in Gaza.

"Today's recognition of Palestine as a sovereign and independent state sends hope to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and in Gaza," Prime Minister Robert Golob said on X.

The vote was scheduled for Tuesday and a parliamentary group for foreign affairs on Monday endorsed the government decision with majority vote.

The right-wing Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) of former premier Janez Jansa, however, then submitted a proposal on a consultative referendum on the recognition bid, which would have delayed the vote for at least a month.

The SDS, the largest opposition party, argued it was not the right time to recognise an independent Palestinian state and that the move would only award the "terrorist organisation Hamas".

After the ruling coalition, which holds a majority in Slovenia’s 90-member parliament, tried to find the way around the referendum demand and proceed with the vote, the SDS withdrew their proposal but submitted it again hours later.

The parliament committee for foreign affairs declared it inadequate and dismissed it at an extraordinary session.

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The decision was approved with 52 votes, and nobody against it after the opposition SDS party had left the session.

Of the 27 members of the EU, Sweden, Cyprus, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria have already recognised a Palestinian state. Malta has said it could follow soon.

Israel has been waging a war on Gaza since October of last year, during which more than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed, most of whom are innocent civilians.