Ireland, Spain and Norway say they will recognize a Palestinian state

Ireland, Spain and Norway have announced plans to formally recognize a Palestinian state next week, in a move that is likely to bolster the global Palestinian cause but further strain relations between Europe and Israel.

The three European nations say their landmark decision is the best way to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East, but it sparked swift condemnation from Israel, as its foreign minister ordered the immediate recall of its ambassadors from those countries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Most of the world already recognizes Palestinian statehood. More than 140 out of 193 member states of the United Nations have made their recognition official. But only some nations in the 27-member European Union are among them.

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris told a Wednesday news conference in Dublin: “Today, Ireland, Norway and Spain are announcing that we recognize the state of Palestine. Each of us will now undertake whatever national steps are necessary to give effect to that decision.”

“There is never a wrong time to do the right thing,” Harris later said, speaking to CNN’s Christiana Amanpour on Thursday.

“It was my government’s preferred position to recognize a two-state solution as part of a peace process to bring that about, but sadly, unfortunately, such a comprehensive peace settlement now seems, in many ways, further away than it has ever been,” Harris said.

“We believe you can’t say you’re in favor of a two-state solution and not recognize the very existence of two states,” he added. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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