Pedro Sanchez
Pedro SanchezMoncloa Palace/Fernando Calvo/Pool via Reuters

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez met on Wednesday with Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet leader Mohammad Mustafa and leading officials from several Middle Eastern countries in Madrid, The Associated Press reported.

The meeting took place one day after Spain, Norway and Ireland formally recognized a Palestinian state, following through with a declaration to do so last week.

“On behalf of [PA chairman] Abbas and the government of Palestine, the people of Palestine, we warmly welcome Spain’s recognition of the state of Palestine,” Mustafa said after the meeting, according to AP. “This recognition strengthens our resolve to continue our struggle for a just and lasting peace.”

Mustafa was joined by Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Organization of Islamic Cooperation chairman Hussain Ibrahim Taha, and the foreign ministers for Turkey and Jordan, members of the group called the Foreign Ministerial Committee of Arabic and Islamic countries for Gaza. They also met with Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares.

The move by Spain, Norway and Ireland followed an announcement by Ireland, Spain, Slovenia and Malta, who said 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.

Relations between Spain and Israel have already been strained, as the Spanish government has been vocal in its criticism of Israel’s war in Gaza, which followed the Hamas massacre in southern Israel on October 7.

In November, Spain’s Ambassador to Israel was summoned by the Foreign Ministry after Sanchez claimed that "Israel is violating international law and is carrying out indiscriminate killings in Gaza."

Sanchez last month criticized what he called Israel's "disproportionate response" in the Gaza war, saying it risks "destabilizing the Middle East, and as a consequence, the entire world".