Slovenia Latest E.U. Nation to Recognise Palestinian State

The Palestinian flag is raised in front of the Slovenian parliament building after the vot
AP Photo/Darko Bandic

Slovenia recognised a Palestinian state on Tuesday following in the recent steps of three other European countries after its parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of the move.

Lawmakers came down with a vote of 52 in favor and no one against recognition in the 90-seat legislature. The remaining lawmakers were not present for the vote.

“Dear people of Palestine, today’s final decision of Slovenia is a message of hope and peace,” Slovenia’s Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said on the social media platform X. “We believe that only a two-state solution can lead to a lasting peace in the #MiddleEast . Slovenia will tirelessly continue to work on the security of both nations, Palestinians and Israelis.”

Slovenia’s decision came days after Spain, Norway and Ireland recognized a Palestinian state, a move that was condemned by Israel, AFP reports.

Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz subsequently announced Israel would be recalling its ambassadors from all three countries for consultations, and summoned the ambassadors for reprimands — a severe diplomatic step.

Previously, only seven members of the 27-nation European Union officially recognized a Palestinian state. Five of them are former East bloc countries that announced recognition in 1988, as did Cyprus, before joining the E.U. with Sweden’s recognition coming in 2014.

“We started talking with our allies about the recognition of Palestine in February this year,” Prime Minister Robert Golob told lawmakers before Tuesday’s vote.

“At the time, the assessment was — the time is not yet ripe … we warned that we, Europe, have a … duty to act.”

The ruling coalition led by Golob holds a comfortable majority in Slovenia’s assembly and the vote was expected to be a formality.

The Palestinian flag is raised in front of the Slovenian parliament building after the vote in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tuesday, June 4, 2024. Slovenia recognized a Palestinian state on Tuesday after its parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the move, following in the recent steps of three other European countries. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

The AFP report notes Slovenia’s main opposition party, the Slovenian Democratic Party, opposes the recognition.

The right-wing party has demanded a referendum on the issue that would delay the vote, but on Tuesday withdrew the bid before again filing another one that was rejected by parliament.

Israel has long maintained that the only path to a Palestinian state is through bilateral negotiations to settle issues such as the border and capital of such a state; demilitarization; the settlement of refugee claims; and other disputes, as Breitbart News reported.

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