Slovenia recognises Palestinian state following in footsteps of Spain, Ireland, Norway

Published May 30, 2024
A Palestinian flag flies next to a Slovenian and a European Union flag, at the government building in Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 30. — Reuters
A Palestinian flag flies next to a Slovenian and a European Union flag, at the government building in Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 30. — Reuters

The Slovenian government on Thursday approved a decision to recognise an independent Palestinian state, Prime Minister Robert Golob said, following in the steps of Spain, Ireland and Norway.

“Today the government has decided to recognise Palestine as an independent and sovereign state,” he said at a news conference in Ljubljana.

Parliament speaker Urska Klakocar Zupancic told a press conference in Ljubljana that Slovenian lawmakers are to vote on Tuesday on whether to recognise the Palestinian state.

“The session is scheduled for Tuesday from 4pm (1400 GMT),” Zupancic said.

The move is part of a wider effort by countries to coordinate pressure on Israel to end the bombardment in Gaza. Israel has been fighting against Hamas since a cross-border October 7 attack by fighters in which some 1,200 people were killed and over 250 taken hostage, according to Israeli tallies. Nearly 130 hostages are believed to remain captive in Gaza.

Gaza health authorities say more than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli bombardment over the past seven months that has generated global criticism.

PM Golob also called for the immediate cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and the release of all hostages.

“This is the message of peace,” he said.

The Slovenian government raised a Palestinian flag alongside the flags of Slovenia and the EU in front of its building in downtown Ljubljana.

On May 28, Spain, Ireland and Norway officially recognised a Palestinian state, prompting an angry reaction from Israel.

Of the 27 members of the European Union, Sweden, Cyprus, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria have already recognised a Palestinian state.

Malta has said it could follow soon.

Britain and Australia have said they are also considering recognition, but France has said now is not the time.

Germany joined Israel’s staunchest ally, the United States, in rejecting a unilateral approach, insisting that a two-state solution can only be achieved through dialogue.

Denmark’s parliament on Tuesday voted down a bill to recognise a Palestinian state.

Norway, which chairs the international donor group to the Palestinians, had until recently followed the US position but has lost confidence that this strategy will work.

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