Saturday 22 September 2018 - 05:12

Spain to push for European recognition of Palestine

Story Code : 751379
File photo shows the flags of Palestine and the European Union.
File photo shows the flags of Palestine and the European Union.

On Thursday, Spain's Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said he would launch an "intensive" consultation process with his counterparts to set a timetable for achieving a common position on the subject, Ha'aretz reported.

If “the EU is not able to reach unanimous decision," the option of individual recognition of Palestine is “on the table,” he added.

Riyad al-Maliki, the foreign minister of Palestinian Authority, welcomed the prospect of a Spanish recognition, the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency reported. He called the Spanish foreign minister's remarks a result of his trip to the European country earlier in September, during which he had proposed the recognition to his counterpart.

So far, 139 countries have recognized Palestine.

In Spain, some parties have reportedly been trying to convince the government to follow in their footsteps. Opponents say Tel Aviv might react by recognizing Catalonia, where an independence drive has been hassling Madrid.

Spain has urged Israel against recognizing the Spanish region.

Last year, Tel Aviv threw its support behind a controversial independence vote, which went underway in Iraq's Kurdistan region. The regime was alone in supporting the drive, while the international community was unanimously warning about its consequences.

In January, the PA's President Mahmoud Abbas called on the European Union (EU) to recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

The Israeli regime occupied the Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank that year during a war. It withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but has been keeping the enclave under draconian pressures.

There are disagreements within the EU on whether the bloc should recognize Palestine.