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Spain to recognise Palestinian statehood by July, leader says reports | The Express Tribune

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MADRID:

Spain will recognise Palestinian statehood by July, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told journalists during a Middle East tour, according to several reports published on Tuesday in Spanish media.

State news agency EFE and newspapers El Pais and La Vanguardia cited Sanchez as making the informal remarks to the travelling press corps late on Monday in the Jordanian capital, Amman, on the first day of visits to Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

According to the reports, Sanchez said he expected events to unfold in the conflict ahead of the European Parliament elections in early June and highlighted ongoing debates at the United Nations.

He expected Spain to extend recognition to the Palestinians by July, he said, adding that he believed there would soon be a “critical mass” within the European Union to push several member states to adopt the same position, according to EFE.

At a European Council meeting on March 22, Sanchez said he had agreed with the leaders of Ireland, Malta and Slovenia to “take the first steps” towards recognising statehood declared by Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

At the time, he said he expected the recognition to happen during the current four-year legislature that began last year.

In response, Israel told the four countries that their plan constituted a “prize for terrorism” that would reduce the chances of a negotiated resolution to the Israel’s war in Gaza.

Arab states and the EU had agreed at a meeting in Spain in November that a two-state solution was the answer to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Since 1988, 139 out of 193 UN member states have recognised Palestinian statehood.

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