Norway to recognise Palestinian state, NRK and Aftenposten report

By Thomson Reuters May 22, 2024 | 12:24 AM

OSLO (Reuters) -Norway’s government will announce on Wednesday that the Nordic country recognises an independent Palestinian state, public broadcaster NRK and daily Aftenposten reported, citing unnamed sources.

The Norwegian prime minister’s office and the foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Irish government will also announce on Wednesday the recognition of a Palestinian state, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

European Union members Ireland, Spain, Slovenia and Malta have indicated in recent weeks that they plan to make the recognition, arguing a two-state solution is essential for lasting peace in the region.

The Norwegian prime minister and the foreign minister are due to hold a press conference at 0630 GMT on Wednesday where the Middle East is listed as the topic.

The move comes as Israeli forces have led assaults on the northern and southern edges of the Gaza Strip in May, causing a new exodus of hundreds of thousands of people, and sharply restricted the flow of aid, raising the risk of famine.

Non-EU Norway has long said it would recognise Palestine as a country only if it could have a positive impact on a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, in step with what the United States has said on the issue.

Norway is a close U.S. ally, and the Nordic country has sought to help broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians on several occasions in recent decades.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere last month said that his country was ready to make a decision on recognising a Palestinian state but had not yet decided on the timing.

(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis and Gwladys Fouche in Oslo, writing by Terje Solsvik, editing by Stine Jacobsen)