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After senators agreed to recognise the state Palestine, will TDs follow suit?

Fianna Fáil are pushing for a Dáil vote on the issue.

The Palestinian flag
The Palestinian flag
Image: AP/Press Association Images

FIANNA FAÍL IS now pushing for the Dáil to pass a motion calling on the government to recognise Palestine as an independent state in the wake of the Seanad passing a similar motion earlier this week.

On Wednesday, the motion was passed without a vote in the upper house after Fianna Fáil senator Averil Power got 31 of the 60 senators to sign up.

Now Fianna Fáil’s foreign affairs spokesperson Brendan Smith is calling on the Dáil to follow suit, saying: “Fianna Fáil believes the only way to help bring about a Two State solution now is to unilaterally recognise the Palestinian State. We hope this would act as an impetus for renewed peace talks.”

If Ireland were to officially recognise the State of Palestine, it would become the second EU country to do so, after Sweden.

Other European countries such as Hungary, Poland and Slovakia recognise Palestine, but they did so before joining the 28-member bloc.

Despite the government supporting a two state solution for the last five decades, Taoiseach Enda Kenny did not give any indication that Ireland would follow Sweden when questioned about the matter in Brussels this week.

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He said he welcomed the “unanimous agreement” of the upper house and added: “Obviously the Seanad is perfectly entitled to put down its motion and to have agreed on it unanimously.”

When it was put to him that it was strange Ireland would not follow Sweden’s lead given its support for a two state solution, Kenny replied: “There are lots of strange things around these days.”

Read: Senators have agreed to recognise Palestine as an independent state

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Read: Palestinian ambassador compares occupied Gaza to occupied Ireland

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Hugh O'Connell

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