Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud AbbasReuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday urged Spain to recognize the “state of Palestine” in accordance with the recommendation of the local parliament.

His comments came at a dinner with King Felipe VI of Spain. Abbas claimed that Spain's recognition of the “state of Palestine” would be of great importance in establishing peace in the region and bringing about a situation in which Palestine and Israel coexist in security, stability and good neighborliness.

He further said that the Palestinian people suffered a historic injustice that was caused to them when half of their homeland was “torn” from them during the Nakba (the term used by Palestinian Arabs to describe what they view as the “disaster” of the establishment of the State of Israel –ed.) of 1948 and the “occupation” of the rest of the Palestinian territories in 1967, including eastern Jerusalem.

"We support a peace agreement that is based on the legitimate international resolutions, the principles of the Madrid Conference and the Arab peace initiative," Abbas said, adding, "We support the efforts of President Trump’s administration to bring about a historic peace deal and emphasize the importance of the role of the European Union and its positions which support international law."

"We will continue our efforts to unite our land and our people and to implement order to reach a situation where there is one authority and one law and one legitimate weapon, a situation which will ease the suffering of our people in the Gaza Strip,” continued Abbas.

In 2014, Spanish lawmakers adopted a non-binding motion calling on the government to recognize a Palestinian state in coordination with any similar move by the European Union.

Other European countries have in recent years adopted similar, non-binding resolutions calling for recognition of the “state of Palestine”. Most of these moves are symbolic gestures and have little, if any, actual diplomatic effect.

In addition to Spain, other countries that have recognized “Palestine” include Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Greece and Portugal. In addition, the PA inaugurated an embassy in the Vatican last January.