German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
German Chancellor Olaf ScholzReuters

The leaders of Germany and Portugal said on Friday the time was not ripe to recognize a Palestinian state, after three other European nations announced plans to do so.

"We have no reason to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a separate state now," Chancellor Olaf Scholz told a press conference after talks with Portuguese Prime Minister Luis Montenegro, as quoted by the AFP news agency.

"There is no clarity about the territory of the state and other questions related to it," he added.

"What we need is a negotiated solution between Israel and the Palestinians that amounts to a two-state solution... but we are still a long way from there," said Scholz, adding, "Symbolic recognition of statehood does not bring us further" towards the goal.

Speaking at the same press conference, Montenegro said Portugal was also "not in the position to" recognize a Palestinian state.

"We are waiting for the (related) issues to be further discussed within the European Union," he added.

Their comments follow the announcement by Ireland, Norway and Spain that they intended to recognize the “State of Palestine” next week.

In response, Foreign Minister Israel Katz ordered the immediate return to Israel of the Israeli ambassadors to Norway and Ireland.

Wednesday’s announcement came after Ireland, Spain, Slovenia and Malta announced that they would jointly work toward the recognition of a Palestinian state, arguing a two-state solution is essential for lasting peace in the region.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has long urged countries to recognize “Palestine” as a means of bypassing direct talks with Israel.

While several countries have recognized “Palestine” in recent years, those moves were symbolic ones that have little, if any, actual diplomatic effect.

Responding to the announcement from Ireland, Norway and Spain, the White House said that President Biden "has been on the record supporting a two-state solution," but opposes unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)