Borrell: Some European States Will Soon Recognize Palestine

Spain and Ireland are seeking an alliance between European countries that want immediate recognition of the Palestinian state

Some European Union member states may soon recognize a Palestinian state. This should happen by May, as announced by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In April 2024, Ireland and Spain confirmed their intention to gather countries that would soon recognize Palestine and form an alliance with them. Recognition will not directly concern the European Union, since only one state can recognize another state, but even at the community level, recognition by some of its members may already be a significant fact.

“Colder” countries, such as Italy, are not against recognizing it per se, but against doing so at the moment: “A democratic Palestinian state must be born with a PNA-led government, not Hamas, which is terrorist,” Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani explained.

As always, the accelerator pedal is being pressed by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who polled Ireland, Poland, Slovenia, Belgium, and Malta. Ireland itself, for obvious historical reasons, is a major ally of the Iberians.

To date, 140 of the 193 UN states recognize Palestine, and the only EU state to do so since 2014 is Sweden. On April 18, 2024, a UN Security Council resolution, which would have recognized Palestine as a full member, was vetoed by the United States.

Recognizing a Palestinian state is, as Sanchez has repeatedly said, the most concrete way to move toward “the two-state solution” that many believe is the only way to achieve future peace. It was also at the center of the dialog between Borrell and Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi who, according to Jordanian ministerial sources, “discussed developments in Gaza and efforts to end the war, ensure the protection of civilians, and provide humanitarian assistance to all parts of the Gaza Strip, in addition to de-escalation efforts in the region.” Safadi reportedly praised “Borrell’s stance and efforts to end the aggression, solve the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, apply international law and international humanitarian law, as well as his clear position on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.”