Brussels (Agencies): Spain, Ireland, and other European Union member countries are planning to recognize Palestine as a state on May 21, according to the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell. This announcement comes ahead of a United Nations vote on a Palestinian bid to become a full UN member.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had previously stated in March that Spain, Ireland, Slovenia, and Malta were taking initial steps towards recognizing a Palestinian state alongside Israel, viewing a two-state solution as crucial for enduring peace. When asked on a local Spanish radio station if May 21 was the date for recognition, Borrell confirmed it, mentioning Slovenia as well.

Borrell described this as a symbolic political act that recognizes the desire for the state to exist, adding that Belgium and other countries would likely follow suit. Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares had previously confirmed the decision for recognition, though he did not specify a date.

The international community’s calls for a ceasefire and a permanent end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have increased alongside the death toll from Israel’s offensive in Gaza, which was launched in response to a deadly cross-border attack by Hamas on October 7. Israel has criticized the plans for Palestinian recognition, labeling it a “prize for terrorism” that would hinder the chances of a negotiated resolution to the Gaza conflict.

On Friday, the United Nations General Assembly is expected to support a Palestinian bid to become a full UN member by recognizing its qualification to join and urging the UN Security Council to reconsider the matter favorably. According to Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE, Spain, Ireland, Slovenia, and Malta have been awaiting the UN vote and are considering a joint recognition on May 21.

Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob stated earlier this week that his country would recognize Palestine’s statehood by mid-June. Since 1988, 139 out of 193 UN member states have recognized Palestinian statehood.

By Media

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