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5 European countries slated to soon recognize 'Palestine,' according to top EU diplomat

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borell attends a meeting, at VIA Riyadh in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 29, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed)

The European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell revealed on Monday that several EU member states are expected to recognize “Palestine” as an independent state by the end of May.

The countries reportedly include Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Malta and Slovenia, according to The Times of Israel

Borrell made the announcement on Monday during a meeting between European and Arab officials, on the sidelines of a special two-day session of the World Economic Forum in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Earlier in April, the U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that attempted to unilaterally upgrade the Palestinian Authority (PA) to a de facto state.

While Norway is not an EU member, it is nevertheless considering joining the diplomatic recognition of Palestine. Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide helped to organize the Riyadh meeting, which included his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan and Turkey.

“If we want to move this two-state solution forward it will not happen from the parties,” Eide told media representatives. “I do not believe that Israel is ready to negotiate at this point, and I do not think that the US is ready to take the necessary leadership. So I think an Arab-European leadership is the best we can hope for.”

“The continued rejection of the two-state solution will inevitably undermine the security and stability of the region,” Saudi’s Prince Faisal said at the start of the meeting, AFP reported.

Earlier on Monday, Borrell told reporters he would encourage Arab leaders to put forward their proposal for a two-state solution, and that he wanted EU member states to invite Arab leaders to Brussels to present it.

Eide accused the West of double standards regarding the war in Gaza, comparing Israel’s defensive actions against Hamas with Russian aggression towards Ukraine.

“We agreed on the urgency to address regional issues and in particular to end the suffering in Gaza,” Borrell wrote on 𝕏 after the meeting, adding that the issue of EU-Turkey relations was also part of the agenda.

In the early 1990s, the Norwegian capital became associated with secret diplomatic negotiations that eventually led to the interim Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

While Israel accepted the idea of the two-state solution, the Oslo initiative eventually collapsed due to the late PLO chief Yasser Arafat’s embrace of terrorism, and rejection of the Jewish state’s right to exist within any boundaries.

Senior Israeli officials have cautioned that unilateral recognition of the Palestinian Authority as a de facto state would effectively reward the extremism and antisemitism that precipitated the Oct. 7 terror attack.

For many years, Ireland has been among the most vocal Israel critics in Europe.

Earlier this month, newly-elected Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris confirmed that Ireland is working towards unilaterally implementing the two-state solution.

“If you believe that a political solution must bring about a two-state solution, I think a very good starting point is recognizing that there are two states,” Harris argued during a CNN Interview.

“We recognize, obviously, the State of Israel,” he began. “We recognize the right of Israel to live in peace and safety and security in that region,” he continued, “and we also believe that alongside a secure and safe Israel should be a secure, peaceful, and safe Palestine.”

In March, Spain aligned with several European countries in a diplomatic initiative to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state.

“We have to decide when to do it, when we contribute to a solution and therefore, it is a matter of political assessment,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez told reporters.

“We discussed together our readiness to recognize Palestine and said that we would do so when it can make a positive contribution and the circumstances are right,” read the joint statement of Spain, Ireland, Malta and Slovenia last month.

The Biden administration officially supports the two-state solution but insists that such an agreement must result from direct negotiations involving Israel.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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