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File image of Slovenia Prime Minister Robert Golob
Slovenia

Slovenian government recognises Palestinian state but Israel urges Parliament to reject the move

The Slovenian Parliament must also approve the government’s decision and Israel has expressed hope Parliament will reject this proposal.

THE SLOVENIAN GOVERNMENT has approved a decision to recognise the state of Palestine.

“Today the government has decided to recognise Palestine as an independent and sovereign state,” Prime Minister Robert Golob told a news conference in the capital Ljubljana.

However, the Slovenian Parliament must also approve the government’s decision in a vote on Tuesday, and Israel has expressed hope the Parliament will reject this proposal.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said today that he hoped Slovenian lawmakers will reject recognising a Palestinian state, claiming that a yes vote next week would be a “reward” to Hamas.

“The Slovenian government’s decision to recommend that the Slovenian parliament recognise a Palestinian state rewards Hamas… I hope the Slovenian parliament rejects this recommendation,” Katz said on X.

Meanwhile, the conservative opposition Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) which opposes the recognition said Slovenia should remain with the majority of EU states that have decided now is not the right time.

“We are aware of who is leading Palestine and it is clear that with the recognition Robert Golob’s government is stepping to the wrong side of history,” SDS lawmaker Milan Zver told the Delo newspaper today.

The move comes two days after Ireland, Spain, and Norway formally recognised the state of Palestine, which will result in full diplomatic relations being established between these EU countries and Palestine.

A Bill recognising Palestinian statehood passed successfully through both the Seanad and the Dáil in 2014 but the Government said it wanted to recognise Palestine in coordination with other EU states.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin told the Dáil this week that he anticipates other EU countries will recognise Palestine in the coming weeks and months.

Malta also indicated that it could follow suit soon, and some EU countries already recognise Palestine, including Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden.

However, Denmark this week rejected a proposal to recognise the Palestinian state and France has recently said the time is not right for such a move.

Elsewhere, Britain and Australia have indicated that they are also considering recognising Palestine.

Formalities

On Tuesday, the Palestinian flag was raised outside Leinster House to mark the occasion and it is understood credentials for ambassadors will happen at a later date.

As part of the formal recognition of Palestine, the Palestinian Mission in Ireland will be upgraded to an embassy and an Ambassador to Ireland from the State of Palestine will also be appointed, subject to a formal request. 

The current representative office of Ireland in Ramallah will also be upgraded to an embassy and the current Irish Representative to Palestine will be changed to the Irish Ambassador to the State of Palestine.

The move was sharply criticised by Israel, with Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, Dana Erlich claiming that it is a “prize for terrorism”.

The Irish ambassador to Israel was also summoned to the Israeli foreign affairs department alongside her Spanish and Norwegian colleagues for a “reprimand”.

While there the three were shown a video of the October 7 attacks by Hamas on Israel.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin said Israel’s actions were “no way to treat a diplomat” and “totally unacceptable”.

Israel’s foreign minister Israel Katz meanwhile tagged Taoiseach Simon Harris in a post on X and said “Hamas thanks you for your service”.

Attached to Katz’s post was a bizarre video of clips he purported to be of Hamas, bookmarked with videos of Irish dancing with Irish-sounding music in the background.

-With additional reporting from - © AFP 2024 

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