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Slovenia Becomes Latest EU Country to Recognize Palestinian State

Editor

Laila Afifa

5 June 2024 16:19 WIB

TEMPO.CO, LjubljanaSlovenia became the latest European Union country to recognize an independent Palestinian state after its parliament approved the move with a majority vote on Tuesday, June 4, dismissing a call for a referendum on the issue by the largest opposition party.

The government last week decided to recognize Palestine as an independent and sovereign state following the steps of Spain, Ireland, and Norway as part of a wider effort to coordinate pressure on Israel to end the conflict in Gaza.

"Today's recognition of Palestine as a sovereign and independent state sends hope to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza," Prime Minister Robert Golob said on X.

The vote was scheduled for Tuesday and a parliamentary group for foreign affairs on Monday endorsed the government decision with a majority vote.

The right-wing Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) of former premier Janez Jansa, however, then submitted a proposal for a consultative referendum on the recognition bid, which would have delayed the vote for at least a month.

The SDS, the largest opposition party, argued it was not the right time to recognize an independent Palestinian state and that the move would only award the "terrorist organization Hamas".

After the ruling coalition, which holds a majority in Slovenia’s 90-member parliament, tried to find a way around the referendum demand and proceed with the vote, the SDS withdrew their proposal but submitted it again hours later.

The Parliament Committee for Foreign Affairs declared it inadequate and dismissed it at an extraordinary session.

The decision was approved with 52 votes, and nobody was against it after the opposition SDS party had left the session.

Of the 27 members of the EU, Sweden, Cyprus, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria have already recognized a Palestinian state. Malta has said it could follow soon.

Israel has been fighting against Hamas, which rules Gaza, since the cross-border Oct. 7 attack by militants in which some 1,200 people were killed and over 250 taken hostage, according to Israeli tallies. Nearly 130 hostages are believed to remain captive in Gaza.

Gaza health authorities say more than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war over the past seven months.

REUTERS

Editor's Choice: Ireland to Recognize Palestinian State

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