Spain recognition of a Palestinian state would 'help Israelis and Palestinians achieve peace': PM

AFP , Tuesday 28 May 2024

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the Spanish Cabinet will recognize a Palestinian state at its Tuesday morning meeting.

Pedro Sanchez
Spain s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is pictured as he delivers a speech on TV over the recognition of Palestinian statehood by Spain, in Madrid on May 28, 2024. AFP


Ireland and Norway were also to make official their recognition of a Palestinian state later in the day. While dozens of countries have recognized a Palestinian state, none of the major Western powers has done so.

“This is a historic decision that has a single goal, and that is to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve peace,” said Sánchez, standing at the gates of the prime minister's palace in Madrid, during a televised speech.

The Socialist leader, who announced his country’s decision before parliament last week, has spent months touring European and Middle Eastern countries to garner support for recognition and a cease-fire in Gaza.

Relations between the EU and Israel nosedived Monday, the eve of the diplomatic recognition of EU members Ireland and Spain, with Madrid insisting that the EU should take action against Israel for its continued deadly attacks in southern Gaza’s city of Rafah.

Norway, which is not an EU member but often aligns its foreign policy with the bloc, handed diplomatic papers to the Palestinian government over the weekend ahead of its formal recognition of a Palestinian state.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz told Spain that its consulate in Jerusalem would not be allowed to help Palestinians.

In his speech on Tuesday, Sánchez said that the recognition of a Palestinian state was “a decision that we do not adopt against anyone, least of all against Israel, a friendly people whom we respect, whom we appreciate and with whom we want to have the best possible relationship.”

He called for a permanent cease-fire, for stepping up humanitarian aid into Gaza and for the release of hostages that Hamas has held since 7 October.

Sánchez also laid out his vision for a state ruled by the Palestinian National Authority that must connect the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem through a corridor.

“We will not recognize changes in the 1967 border lines other than those agreed to by the parties,” Sánchez added.

Meanwhile. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of being a "partner to incitement" to Jewish "genocide".

"You are a partner to incitement to genocide of the Jewish people", Katz wrote on X while making a parallel between Spanish minister Yolanda Diaz on the one hand, and Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei and Hamas Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar on the other following her call for a free Palestine, "from the river to the sea".

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