Ireland to recognize Palestinian state by end of May, foreign minister says

FILE PHOTO: Irish Tanaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Micheal Martin speaks to members of the media during the 78th United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, U.S., September 19, 2023. REUTERS/Bing Guan/File Photo

Ireland will recognize a Palestinian state before the end of this month if not on May 21 as first thought, Irish Foreign Minster Micheal Martin said on Wednesday. European Union members including Ireland, Spain, Slovenia and Malta, had planned to make the recognition next week, arguing that a two-state solution is essential for lasting peace in the region.

“We will be recognizing the state of Palestine before the end of the month,” Micheal Martin told Newstalk radio. “The specific date is still fluid because we’re still in discussions with some countries in respect of a joint recognition.”

The efforts come as a mounting death toll in Gaza from Israel’s offensive to rout Hamas prompts calls globally for a ceasefire and lasting solution for peace in the region.

Since 1988, 139 out of 193 U.N. member states have recognized Palestinian statehood.

Martin said he was consulting with his counterparts in other countries to finalize the details before formally recognizing a Palestinian state.

“We’re doing it in the context of the Arab peace initiative, the track towards the two-state solution and to send a signal to the Palestinian population at large that we support the right to self-determination,” he said.

Israel has said that the Palestinian recognition plan constituted a “prize for terrorism” that would reduce the chances of a negotiated resolution to the conflict.

Hamas-led gunmen killed some 1,200 people in their initial raid on Oct. 7, according to Israeli tallies, and still hold 128 hostages out of 252 people they captured in their cross-border raid. Israel has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians in its offensive in Gaza since then, according to Gaza health officials.

By Reuters

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