After Sweden, Slovenia Likely to Recognize Palestine

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (L) and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. (Photo: YouTube)

Slovenia’s parliament is expected to recognize the State of Palestine, as the Foreign Affairs Committee of the legislature will vote Wednesday on a draft resolution, with the backing of Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec, before it passes to the parliament for a full vote.

“The Republic of Slovenia recognizes Palestine as an independent and sovereign state,” the draft resolution said. However, the foreign affairs committee will likely ask the government to prepare its own proposal, which will probably be very similar.

The committee will then meet again on the government proposal before the final vote in the plenary, which is expected in March or April. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs refused to comment on the matter, but believed that the move will pass with a comfortable majority.

Last Friday, Slovenian President Borut Pahor said that he opposed recognizing Palestine for the time being. However, the president does not control what the parliament does, and it is solely a symbolic declaration. If the decision does indeed pass, Slovenia would be the second country in the European Union after Sweden to recognize a Palestinian state.

On the other hand, a conference will also be held in Brussels Wednesday at the initiative of Norway and the European Union, in the shadow of the crisis in peace talks, American threats to cut aid to Palestinians, the stalemate in Palestinian reconciliation talks and the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Earlier this month, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the European Union to recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders during a joint press conference with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels.

He said that recognizing Palestine would not be a barrier to peace and that the only way to achieve peace with Israel was through internationally-led negotiations. Abbas said that the EU was among the main partners in building the institutions of a Palestinian state, and that the Palestinians would seek full implementation of the UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.

At the press conference, Mogherini reiterated the EU’s commitment to investing in the Palestinian state-building process, aiming to reassure Palestinians and President Abbas of the EU’s continued support, including financial through the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

(Agencies, PC, Social Media)

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