Slovenia, Spain to make moves towards recognition of Palestinian state

Slovenia, Spain to make moves towards recognition of Palestinian state
Spain and Slovenia will be working towards the recognition of a Palestinian state, in a bid to bring an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
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Spain, along with a number of EU countries, has been a supporter of the Palestinian cause and state [Getty/file photo]

Slovenia and Spain have agreed on the need to formally recognise a Palestinian state as a way to end the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the leaders of the two countries said on Tuesday.

They must also act to alleviate the suffering of the people of Gaza amid the war waged by Israel since October 7, which has killed at least 33,843 people, mainly women and children.

"The most important thing is that we have addressed a whole series of questions - when, not if, but when is the best moment to recognize Palestine," Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob said at a joint news conference with Spain's Pedro Sanchez.

Golob gave no timeline, saying the matter did not depend on Slovenia and Spain alone but on other international factors. But Slovenia would vote in the United Nations Security Council for full membership of a Palestinian state, he said.

Spain, long a champion of Palestinian rights, last month agreed with the leaders of Ireland, Malta and Slovenia to take the first steps towards recognising a Palestinian state.

The efforts come as the death toll in Gaza from Israel's brutal military onslaught neared 34,000. Much of the territory has been flattened by Israeli bombardments, leaving most of the people destitute while a famine looms.

Israel has said the four EU countries' initiative would amount to a "prize for terrorism" that would reduce the chances of a negotiated resolution to the conflict.

Sanchez's visit to Slovenia was part of a tour of several European countries to try to garner support for the recognition of a Palestinian state.

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Arab states and the European Union agreed at a meeting in Spain in November that a two-state solution was the answer to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The goal of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel has long been the basis for international peace efforts, but these have been stalled for a decade.

Since 1988, 139 out of 193 United Nations member states have recognised Palestinian statehood.