Irish Parliament Urges Government to Recognize 'Palestine'

Irish lawmakers pass a non-binding motion urging their government to recognize “Palestine” as a state.

Ben Ariel,

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Irish lawmakers urged their government Wednesday to recognize “Palestine” as a state in a symbolic motion that sailed through parliament unopposed, reports AFP.

The non-binding motion agreed by lawmakers in Dublin called on the government to "officially recognize the State of Palestine, on the basis of the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital, as established in UN resolutions".

This would be "a further positive contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict", it added.

The government is not bound to follow the motion but Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said Ireland supported early recognition of a Palestinian state "in principle."

"We have always supported a viable two-state solution and will continue to support that in any manner and by any means," Flanagan told parliament, according to AFP.

"It's been suggested that recognition now might help jump-start a stalemate process. This was the judgment made by Sweden and indeed it is the spirit of this evening's motion," Flanagan added.

Despite being proposed by the opposition Sinn Fein party, the motion had cross-party support, dispensing the need for a vote.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, who was refused entry to Gaza by Israel during a visit to the region last week, said the motion was about inspiring hope.

"We must stand with the Palestinian and Israeli citizens who want peace - who are taking risks for peace. The passing of this motion is an important contribution to this," Adams said.

The motion also called on the Irish government to do everything it could internationally to secure "an inclusive and viable peace process".

The chairperson of the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Martin O'Quigley, welcomed the move.

"It's very important, but just as important is for the Irish government to make Israel accountable for what has happened and what is happening in Palestine," he told AFP.

The Israeli embassy in Dublin said however the motion was premature.

"A vote in favor of this motion, therefore, is a vote for Ireland, a neutral country, to intervene in a foreign conflict in favor of one national movement at the expense of another," the Embassy said in a statement. "That is not how peace is brought about."

By accepting the motion, Ireland is following several similar moves made by other countries in Europe.

British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on October 13 in favor of a non-binding motion to "recognize the state of Palestine"; Sweden announced on October 30 it officially recognized the state of "Palestine"; and several weeks ago, Spanish lawmakers adopted a motion calling on the government to recognize a Palestinian state.

A similar vote is planned in Belgium, where legislators are working on a resolution to recognize a Palestinian state, though the government said last week any timing to proceed will depend on European Union action.








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