News24 | Ireland to recognise Palestinian statehood ‘this month’, minister says

A protestor with a Palestinian flag in Ramallah on the West Bank in December 2017, during clashes triggered by then US President Donald Trump recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

A protestor with a Palestinian flag in Ramallah on the West Bank in December 2017, during clashes triggered by then US President Donald Trump recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

  • EU member Ireland plans to recognise Palestine as a state before the end of the month.
  • Spain and Slovenia are also due to do so, in a coordinated move.
  • Ireland wants as many countries as possible involved in the declaration in order to send a strong message.

Ireland is certain to recognise Palestinian statehood by the end of May, the country’s Foreign Minister Micheal Martin said on Wednesday, without specifying a date.

“We will be recognising the state of Palestine before the end of the month,” Martin, who is also Ireland’s deputy prime minister, told the Newstalk radio station.

In March the leaders of Spain, Ireland, Slovenia and Malta said in a joint statement that they stand ready to recognise Palestinian statehood.

Ireland has long said it has no objection in principle to officially recognising the Palestinian state if it could help the peace process in the Middle East.

But Israel’s war against Hamas militants in Gaza has given the issue new impetus.

Last week, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Spain, Ireland and Slovenia planned to symbolically recognise a Palestinian state on 21 May, with others potentially following suit.

But Martin on Wednesday shied away from pinpointing a date.

“The specific date is still fluid because we’re still in discussions with some countries in respect of a joint recognition of a Palestinian state,” he said.

“It will become clear in the next few days as to the specific date but it certainly will be before the end of this month.

“I will look forward to consultations today with some foreign ministers in respect of the final specific detail of this.”

Last month during a visit to Dublin by Spanish premier Pedro Sanchez, Irish prime minister Simon Harris said the countries would coordinate the move together.

“When we move forward, we would like to do so with as many others as possible to lend weight to the decision and to send the strongest message,” said Harris.

Harris’s office said Wednesday that he updated King Abdullah II of Jordan by telephone on Ireland’s plan for statehood recognition.

Harris “outlined Ireland and Spain’s ongoing efforts on Palestinian recognition and ongoing discussions with other like-minded countries”, a statement read.

“The King and the Taoiseach (prime minister) agreed that both Ireland and Jordan should stay in touch in the coming days,” it added.