TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE has declared his hope that he can declare Ireland’s recognition of a full Palestinian state during his tenure as Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon as he took his first session of ministers’ questions since taking over the foreign affairs brief, Gilmore said Ireland would “lead the charge” in recognising claims for Palestine’s full statehood.
That acknowledgement would not come, however, until the Palestinian Authority was in full and sole control over the territory to which it lays claim, Gilmore added.
“The timing of such a declaration will be an important decision… [but] I very much hope to be able to extend recognition of a full, functional Palestinian state during my time in office.”
Gilmore was responding to a question tabled by Sinn Féin’s Padraig MacLochlainn on whether Ireland had plans to recognise a fully sovereign Palestinian state.
His question followed the decision of a number of countries in Latin America to declare their recognition of Palestine as a full nation.
Gilmore shared his pride of the fact that the common international position on Palestine – that a fully sovereign Palestinian state must be part of a long-term solution to the Middle Eastern conflict – was a position first announced by one of his predecessors as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Lenihan senior.
He added that a number of European Union member states – including Ireland and the UK – had recently upgraded the status of the diplomatic missions from Palestine to their countries, giving their leaders the rank of ambassador.
Asked if Ireland would lead the charge for full Palestinian statehood at an EU level, Gilmore asserted: “You need have no doubt whatever about that.”