Arab states praise European countries' recognition of state of Palestine

AFP , Wednesday 22 May 2024

Arab countries praised the decision by Ireland, Norway and Spain on Wednesday to recognize a Palestinian state and called on other countries to do the same.

A participant wears a pendant with the lettering Palestine during a pro-Palestinian protest, in May 2024. AFP


Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry "expresses the Kingdom's welcome of the positive decision taken by the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Spain and the Republic of Ireland to recognize the sisterly State of Palestine," according to a statement posted on X.

"The kingdom appreciates this decision issued by friendly countries, which affirms the international consensus on the inherent right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and calls on the rest of the countries to quickly make the same decision."

Qatar's foreign ministry welcomed the announcement as an "important step in support of a two-state solution", expressing hope that other countries would follow suit.

The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council also spoke out in support of the European countries' move, with Secretary General Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi saying it represented "a pivotal and strategic step towards achieving the two-state solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a statement said.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, based in the Saudi city of Jeddah, similarly welcomed the move as an "important historic step".

Meanwhile, Jordan hailed the move as an "important and essential step towards Palestinian statehood".

"We value this decision and consider it an important and essential step towards a two-state solution that embodies an independent, sovereign Palestinian state along the July 1967 borders," Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told a press conference.

Historical moments

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Hamas group welcomed the European decision as a boost for the Palestinian cause.

The moves by Ireland, Norway, and Spain were "historical moments in which the free world triumphs for truth and justice", said Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary general of the PLO executive committee, on social media platform X.

"We consider this an important step towards affirming our right to our land," Hamas said in a statement, calling on "countries around the world to recognise our legitimate national rights".

Senior Hamas official Bassem Naim said it was the "brave resistance" of the Palestinian people that spurred the move by the three European countries.

"These successive recognitions are the direct result of this brave resistance and the legendary steadfastness of the Palestinian people," he told AFP.

"We believe this will be a turning point in the international position on the Palestinian issue."

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