Spain to recognise Palestinian statehood by July, leader says -reports

Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain

© APA | Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain

# 02 April 2024 11:39 (UTC +04:00)

Spain will recognize Palestinian statehood by July, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told journalists during a Middle East tour, according to several reports published on Tuesday in Spanish media, APA reports citing Reuters.

State news agency EFE and newspapers El Pais and La Vanguardia cited Sanchez as making the informal remarks to the traveling press corps late on Monday in the Jordanian capital, Amman, on the first day of visits to Jordan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

According to the reports, Sanchez said he expected events to unfold in the conflict ahead of the European Parliament elections in early June and highlighted ongoing debates at the United Nations.

He expected Spain to extend recognition to the Palestinians by July, he said, adding that he believed there would soon be a "critical mass" within the European Union to push several member states to adopt the same position, according to EFE.

At a European Council meeting on March 22, Sanchez said he had agreed with the leaders of Ireland, Malta, and Slovenia to "take the first steps" towards recognizing statehood declared by Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

At the time, he said he expected the recognition to happen during the current four-year legislature that began last year.

In response, Israel told the four countries that their plan constituted a "prize for terrorism" that would reduce the chances of a negotiated resolution to the Gaza conflict.

Arab states and the EU had agreed at a meeting in Spain in November that a two-state solution was the answer to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Since 1988, 139 out of 193 U.N. member states have recognized Palestinian statehood.

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