Portugal's Prime Minister Luis Montenegro
Portugal's Prime Minister Luis MontenegroReuters/SOPA Images

Portugal is not ready to recognize a Palestinian state without a concerted EU approach, its new Prime Minister, Luis Montenegro, said on Monday in Madrid after meeting his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez, AFP reported.

Sanchez recently said that his country will recognize Palestinian statehood by July. Those comments came on the heels of an announcement by Sanchez, together with the leaders of Ireland, Malta and Slovenia, that they had agreed to "take the first steps" towards recognizing a Palestinian state.

On Monday, Sanchez repeated his plan to recognize Palestinian statehood in the coming months, either together with other nations or alone.

But Montenegro, who took office in March, said his government would wait for the European Union and the United Nations to work out a common position on the issue before advancing.

"We don't go as far as other governments do with regard to recognizing the state of Palestine," he told a joint news conference in Madrid as he stood alongside Sanchez, as quoted by AFP.

"We believe that this understanding should be built on a multilateral basis within the European Union and the United Nations."

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

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