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Ireland, Spain and Norway to formally recognize State of Palestine

Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Mr. Simon Harris, alongside Tánaiste Micheál Martin and Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan, recognized Palestine as a sovereign State in a press conference Wednesday. Ireland, in a joint announcement with the governments of Spain and Norway, shared its intent to formally recognize Palestine on Tuesday, May 28. This recognition will entail Palestine’s sovereign right to exist, along with all of the benefits and responsibilities that a State and its population hold under international law.

Taoiseach Harris in his speech made an important point that this recognition does not disregard Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign State. Ireland continues to fully recognize Israel’s right to exist securely and in peace with its neighbors under international law and condemns the actions of Hamas. Nonetheless, Harris distinguished the Hamas organization from the people of Palestine. Ireland’s decision to recognize the Palestinian State aims to help create a peaceful future, in line with the principle of sovereign equality enshrined in Article 2 of the UN Charter. According to Taoiseach Harris, “A two-state solution is the only way out of the generational cycles of violence, retaliation, and resentment, where so many wrongs can never make a right.”

To be recognized as a formal State under international law, there must exist a permanent population, a defined territory, an effective government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other existing States, as codified in Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States of 1933. The elements of a defined territory and an effective government are not as absolute in practice as they may seem, as entities have been recognized as States in the past during civil wars or where there existed contemporary land disputes.

The Israeli ambassador to Ireland, Ms. Dana Erlich, stated that there exists no effective government controlling Palestine right now, thus there is a missing element to State recognition. However, Palestine could potentially be recognized as a State either way in line with the above statement. The further recognition of their legitimate right to statehood from the European States shows the potential for Palestine to enter into international relations.

Following the announcement, Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Israel Katz, ordered the immediate return of the Israeli ambassadors to the three countries for consultations. The US National Security Advisor, Mr. Jake Sullivan, confirmed on Thursday that President Biden opposes the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian State and that instead, a two-state solution should be sought between the parties.

Ireland, Norway, and Spain will each take whatever national steps are necessary to uphold the aforementioned recognition of the Palestinian State going forward.

Article: Ireland, Spain and Norway to formally recognize State of Palestine

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