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Spain's premier to embark on European tour to rally support for recognition of Palestine

Pedro Sanchez to meet leaders of Norway, Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia, and Belgium in coming days

15:09 - 9/04/2024 Salı
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File photo
File photo

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will embark on a European tour to try to convince more nations to recognize an independent Palestinian state, the government spokesperson announced on Tuesday.

Madrid has vowed to recognize the Palestinian state before July, but it hopes more countries will follow its lead.

Starting on Friday, Sanchez will begin a series of “trips, meetings and contacts” with European and international leaders to “share his concern around the situation in Gaza and the need to push forward the recognition of Palestine as a state,” spokesperson Pilar Alegria told a press conference.

“We want to stop the humanitarian disaster in Gaza and contribute to getting a political peace process started, which will lead to the materialization of a two-state solution, as soon as possible,” she said.

Sanchez's trip will begin in Oslo, where he will meet with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store.

“As you know, this country has a long history of mediation and conflict management in the region, with significant achievements like the Olso Accords after the Madrid Conference of 1991," Alegria said.

Sanchez will then travel to Ireland to meet the country's new leader Simon Harris.

In late March, the prime ministers of Spain, Ireland, Malta, and Slovenia signed a joint statement saying they stand ready to recognize the state of Palestine, calling it the “only way to achieve peace and security” in the region.”

Sanchez on Monday will meet the new Portuguese prime minister, Luis Montenegro, to discuss the issue in Madrid.

Then, on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sanchez will travel to Slovenia and Belgium.

In November, Sanchez and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo made a controversial trip to the Middle East where they criticized the Israeli response to the Oct. 7 attacks. As a result, Israel summoned both the Belgian and Spanish ambassadors.

Israel has killed more than 33,000 Palestinians since the cross-border incursion by Hamas, and also caused displacement, destruction and conditions of famine in the besieged enclave.

Belgium currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

Sanchez and De Croo plan to meet before the extraordinary European summit in Brussels on April 17 and 18.

“Our goal is clear: drive forward the recognition of the Palestinian State in a key moment in which the conflict is entering a decisive phase and when the conflict is being discussed in the United Nations,” Alegria said.

Last week, Sanchez also traveled to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to discuss the Palestinian situation and “explore new ways to bring peace to the region,” the spokesperson added.

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#Europe
#Gaza
#Israel
#Palestine
#Pedro Sanchez
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