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Faith Nyasuguta

Norway, Ireland, and Spain have officially recognized a Palestinian state in a landmark decision. Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris announced on Wednesday that this move was coordinated with Spain and Norway, marking “a historic and important day for Palestine.”

In recent weeks, several other European countries have signaled their intention to recognize a Palestinian state, emphasizing that a two-state solution is vital for lasting peace in the region.

Meanwhile, the Belgian government was deliberating on Wednesday whether to join the three European nations in recognizing a Palestinian state. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo emphasized the importance of timing for such a recognition.

“You can recognize only once. So when we do it, it needs to come at the right moment when it has an immediate impact. I want an impact on two issues. I want an end to violence in Gaza. I want the hostages to be freed,” De Croo told the VRT network.

“The right perspective is: will it help the violence stop tomorrow or not?” he added.

Belgium faces a delicate situation since it currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, which means any decision it makes carries significant diplomatic weight.

In contrast, Croatia is not currently considering the recognition of a Palestinian state. Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic stated on Wednesday that Croatia’s permanent position supports a two-state solution but insists on an agreement that would lead to lasting peace, as reported by the official HINA news agency.

Croatia, the newest EU member after joining in 2013, has a unique historical context. The country emerged from the former Yugoslavia, which had recognized a Palestinian state in 1988 and established full diplomatic relations a year later.

Norway, Ireland and Spain said they are recognizing a Palestinian state in a historic move that drew condemnation from Israel and jubilation from the Palestinians. Israel immediately ordered back its ambassadors from Norway and Ireland. It came after several European Union countries recently indicated they plan to make the recognition, arguing a two-state solution is essential for lasting peace in the region. /Courtesy/

France, while not opposed to the idea of recognizing a Palestinian state, indicated it is not yet ready to join other countries in this move. French Foreign Minister Stèphane Sèjournè, after a closed-door meeting with his Israeli counterpart on Wednesday, stated that recognizing a Palestinian state must be “useful” in advancing a two-state solution and suggested that doing so now would not have a significant impact.

“Our position is clear: recognition of Palestine is not a taboo for France,” Sèjournè said. “This decision must be useful, that is to say, permit decisive progress on the political level.”

He emphasized the importance of timing, noting, “It must come at the right time so that there is a before and an after.”

“It is not just a symbolic question or an issue of political positioning, but a diplomatic tool serving the solution of two states living side by side, in peace and security,” he explained. “France does not consider that the conditions were present now for this decision to have a real impact in this process.”


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Faith Nyasuguta

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