Spain, Ireland, Malta, Slovenia agree to work towards Palestinian state recognition

By Thomson Reuters Mar 22, 2024 | 8:52 AM

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain has agreed with the leaders of Ireland, Malta and Slovenia to take the first steps towards recognising a Palestinian state, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday following a meeting of the European Council in Brussels.

Speaking for Spain, Sanchez expected the recognition to happen during the current four-year legislature that began last year.

He told reporters the agreement was reached after meeting with his Irish, Maltese and Slovenian counterparts on the sidelines of the Council gathering on Friday morning.

“We are agreed that the only way to achieve lasting peace and stability in the region is through implementation of a two-state solution, with Israeli and Palestinian States living side-by-side, in peace and security,” read a joint statement issued by Ireland after the meeting.

Arab states and the European Union 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 United Nations member states have recognised Palestinian statehood.

(Reporting by David Latona; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Hugh Lawson)