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Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia welcome European trio’s decision to recognize State of Palestine

Students wave Palestinian flags as they gather during a pro-Palestinian protest on the campus of the Complutense University of Madrid, on May 14, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have both issued statements, expressing their support for recent decisions made by three European countries to recognize the State of Palestine.

In separate statements on Thursday, Kuwait and Iraq welcomed the decision of Ireland, Norway, and Spain to formally recognize the state of Palestine.

The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said their moves are a significant initial step in restoring the rights of the Palestinian people, emphasizing that regional stability hinges on the creation of a Palestinian state with al-Quds as its capital.

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised the recent decisions as positive measures that will help implementation of international resolutions by the United Nations Security Council and the 2002 so-called Arab Peace Initiative.

Saudi Arabia said Wednesday it welcomed the “positive” decision taken by Norway, Spain, and Ireland to recognize a Palestinian state. 

The Saudi kingdom said it appreciated the decision “which confirms the international consensus on the inherent right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” in a foreign ministry statement. 

Riyadh also urged countries to take the same stance, “which would contribute to finding a reliable and irreversible path to achieve a just and lasting peace that fulfills the rights of the Palestinian people.”

These resolutions aim to empower the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination and establish an independent state along the 1967 borders, with East al-Quds as its capital, the statement added.

The ministry emphasized the importance of all nations following suit to achieve a fair and comprehensive resolution to the Palestinian issue.

Moreover, other Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt, in a statement on Wednesday welcomed the development and urged other countries to follow suit.

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas also described the move as “an important step on the path to establishing our right to our land.”

The head of the Arab League called the decision “a courageous step” that puts the three European countries “on the right side of history in this conflict.”

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Ireland, Norway, and Spain on Wednesday announced they had formally recognized the state of Palestine, adding that the recognition will come into force on May 28.

Reacting to the news on Wednesday, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately recalled ambassadors to Oslo, Dublin and Madrid and issued a “severe demarche” for the three countries’ ambassadors in Tel Aviv.

Most of the world already recognize the Palestinian state. In addition to Norway, Ireland, and Spain, nine other European countries recognize the state.

In a significant development, the UN General Assembly earlier this month backed a Palestinian bid to become a full UN member by recognizing it as qualified to join and recommending the UN Security Council “reconsider the matter favorably.”

The historic vote by the 193-member UNGA highlights the growing international recognition of Palestine as a state

This comes amid Israel's brutal war on Gaza, which has so far killed at least 35,709 Gazans, most of them women, children, and adolescents. Another 79,990 Palestinians have sustained injuries as well.

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