Slovenia initiates procedure to recognize Palestinian state by mid-June

Slovenia's Prime Minister Robert Golob arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, Thursday, April 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Harry Nakos)
Slovenia's Prime Minister Robert Golob arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, Thursday, April 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Harry Nakos)

The Slovenian government on Thursday initiated the procedure for the recognition of a Palestinian state as a form of leverage to end the war between Israel and the Hamas terror group in Gaza, a move it announced in March, Prime Minister Robert Golob says.

“The horrors we see every day in Gaza are inadmissible and must stop,” Golob is quoted as saying on the government X platform. “I call on Israel to put an immediate end to its attacks on Gaza and to use the negotiating table.”

Golob says he would like his country´s recognition to be “an incentive for these negotiations to proceed more quickly” and speed up the dialogue in the United Nations on an immediate ceasefire, the release of hostages and the security and existence of Israel through a two-state solution.

The announcement came as Ireland, Spain and a number of other European Union member states are reportedly considering recognizing a Palestinian state on May 21, according to a report by Ireland’s national broadcaster.

The ruling coalition agreed unanimously on this decision, Golob says, expressing hope that the recognition would inspire other countries to follow in Slovenia´s steps.

Spain, Ireland, Malta and Slovenia said in March they had agreed to take the first steps toward recognizing a Palestinian state. The countries reportedly have been waiting for a vote by the United Nations General Assembly on May 10 which could lead to the recognition of the Palestinians as qualified for full UN membership.

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

Israel has said that the four countries’ plan constituted a “prize for terrorism” that would reduce the chances of a negotiated resolution to the Gaza conflict.

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