Ireland, Spain and Norway formally recognise Palestine from today

Ireland, Spain and Norway formally recognise Palestine from today

THE governments of Ireland, Norway and Spain will formally recognise Palestine as a state as of today.

The joint decision by the European nations is in response to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

They believe formal recognition of the state of Palestine is the starting point to an end to war based on the two-state solution they hope to see in the Middle East – where Israel and Palestine would exist alongside one another.

“This joint decision reflects the determination of our three countries to make a fundamental paradigm shift,” Taoiseach Simon Harris said of today’s historic move.

“The international community, including the EU, has been talking about support for the two-state solution, based on 1967 borders, for decades,” he explained.

Taoiseach Simon Harris, centre, with Minister Eamon Ryan, left, and Tánaiste Micheál Martin, right, at government buildings announcing that Ireland will officially recognise the state of Palestine

“But we are no nearer to actually getting to that desired end state.

“And we firmly believe that, without changing our approach, we will never get there.”

Mr Harris responded to those who have reacted negatively to the announcement last week that Ireland will formally recognise Palestine, claiming it is not “a move to impose an outcome on the parties, or as somehow a reward for terror”.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.

“We have recognised both the State of Israel and the State of Palestine, precisely because we want to see a future of normalised relations between the two peoples,” he explained.

“One where negotiations, between two sovereign states on an equal footing, is the mechanism used to get to a just and lasting settlement, based on internationally-agreed parameters.

“Where occupation and terrorism and dispossession and displacement have no role and are given no space, because they have been replaced by a political framework, in which the parties can pursue their political aims.

“Where extremism is sidelined and moderate political voices, ready to make sensible political compromises that give their people a future of security and dignity, are supported.”

He added: “There can be no military solution to this conflict.

"I repudiate absolutely any group using violence or terrorism to try and eliminate the State of Israel, or to eliminate the State of Palestine - as an idea, or as a reality.

"They will not succeed.

"Our recognition of both States is an unequivocal message that only a future in which Palestinians and Israelis alike enjoy equal rights to self-determination, statehood, human rights and dignity, is acceptable and is sustainable.”