Politics, World, Middle East, Europe

Norway ‘stands ready’ to recognize Palestine as state, full UN member: Premier

Jonas Gahr Store says he will coordinate closely with Spain, which aims for recognition ‘as soon as possible’

Alyssa Mcmurtry  | 12.04.2024 - Update : 12.04.2024
Norway ‘stands ready’ to recognize Palestine as state, full UN member: Premier


Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store announced on Friday that his nation “stands ready” to recognize the state of Palestine and its "appropriate" place in the United Nations.

The news came after a meeting with his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez, who, on Friday, embarked on a European tour to convince more nations to recognize an independent Palestinian state.

“The question is at what moment and in what setting to (recognize Palestine) in order to support the process towards peace in the region. And what this meeting today has made clear is that we stay very closely coordinated between Madrid and Oslo,” said Store at a joint press conference.

Sanchez said on Friday that Spain wants to recognize Palestine “as soon as possible,” leveraging the move as a way to gain momentum for a definitive peace process.

The leaders highlighted the historical importance of Spain and Norway as mediators. The Madrid Conference of 1991 kicked off negotiations that eventually led to the signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993.

Store specified that he will be “actively engaged” with Spain on recognizing Palestine in the coming weeks and that he supports a “democratic Palestine” in which Gaza and the West Bank are run by the Palestinian Authority.

Meanwhile, Sanchez said there is a “clear momentum” around recognizing Palestine because of the situation in Gaza, pointing to the upcoming debate in the United Nations about making the nation a full member state.

Both Norway and Spain also condemned the humanitarian situation in Gaza, calling for an immediate cease-fire and for Israel to allow humanitarian aid to reach the besieged population.

“But besides this, we need to reach a political solution that once and for all brings peace and justice into the region, and we all agree that only a two-state solution will end the conflict,” he added.

“It is time to move from words to deeds,” he said, calling on the international community to act urgently to help end the conflict.

“Too many people have died.”

Sanchez said that Oslo and Madrid are “powerful reminders” about the possibility for peace, and called for an international peace conference “as soon as possible.”

Later on Friday, Sanchez will travel to Ireland where he will be the first foreign leader to meet with the new Irish Taoiseach Simon Harris.

Ireland has already committed to recognizing Palestine, but the two leaders will further discuss the issue.

Then on Monday, he will receive Portugal’s new Prime Minister Luis Montenegro in Madrid to try to convince him to do the same.

Sanchez’s tour will then take him to Slovenia and Belgium for more bilateral meetings about Palestine.

Earlier this month, Sanchez also traveled to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to discuss the situation in Palestine and Israel.

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