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Slovenia recognizes Palestinian statehood

Separately, the Swiss House of Representatives rejects motion to recognize "Palestine" by 131-61.

National Assembly of Slovenia. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
National Assembly of Slovenia. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Slovenia on Tuesday became the latest European Union country to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state, following a parliament vote of 52-0 in favor of the move.

The country’s government last week endorsed a motion to recognize a Palestinian state.

“Today’s recognition of Palestine as a sovereign and independent state sends hope to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and in Gaza,” tweeted Slovenia’s Prime Minister Robert Golob after the vote.

“Dear people of Palestine, today’s final decision of Slovenia is a message of hope and peace. We believe that only a two-state solution can lead to a lasting peace in the #MiddleEast. Slovenia will tirelessly continue to work on the security of both nations, Palestinians and Israelis,” tweeted Slovenian Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon.

The conservative Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), the country’s largest opposition party, opposed the timing of the recognition, attempting to delay the vote another month. The party argued that recognition now would reward the Hamas terrorist organization.

SDS parliamentarians left the session before the vote, contributing to the 38 abstentions in the 90-member legislature.

The Slovenian move follows last month’s decisions by Spain, Ireland and Norway to recognize a Palestinian state. In a retaliatory measure, Jerusalem banned Spain’s consulate in the city from providing services to residents of the Palestinian Authority.

Spain and Ireland (Norway is not a member of the E.U.) join Sweden, Cyprus, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria in recognizing a Palestinian state, with Malta also considering the move.

Swiss House of Representatives rejects Palestinian state recognition

Switzerland’s House of Representatives on Tuesday rejected a motion to recognize Palestinian statehood by a vote of 131 to 61, with two abstentions.

The motion was put forward by National Council member Fabian Molina of the Social Democratic Party, with the support of the Greens.

It called for the recognition of “Palestine” on the condition that the Israeli hostages kidnapped during the Hamas-led attack of Oct. 7 be released.

According to a report in SWI swissinfo.ch, “the tone was, at times, emotional.”

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis has stated that Bern’s position is supportive of an Israeli state and Palestinian state side by side with recognized borders.

“However, the Federal Council does not believe that the time is right to recognise Palestine,” the article stated.

Australia’s Parliament last week voted down by 80-5 a proposal to recognize a “State of Palestine.”

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