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Slovenia officially recognizes Palestinian state

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-06-05 04:12

Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob speaks as the parliament debates about the recognition of Palestine as an independent state, in Lubljana, Slovenia on Tuesday. [Photo/Agencies]

LJUBLJANA -- The Slovenian Parliament on Tuesday voted to approve the proposal of recognizing the statehood of Palestine, a move the legislator body said would hopefully help stop the violence in Gaza.

Fifty-two parliamentary members out of 90 seats voted for the recognition, making Slovenia, currently a non-permanent member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, the fourth European country after Spain, Norway and Ireland in recent weeks to make the decision.

"The Republic of Slovenia recognized Palestine as an independent sovereign state," Parliamentary Speaker Urska Klakocar Zupancic said after the vote.

"The recognition of a Palestine state enhances the reputation of Slovenia as a state that respects international law and the United Nations resolutions and at the same time exerts pressure on both sides: on Israel to stop attacks on Gaza and on Hamas to release hostages," Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon told Parliament before the vote.

"We are working towards peace and the solution of two states," she added.

Most members of the main opposition party, the center-right Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), did not attend the parliamentary session but proposed a referendum to postpone the parliament vote by at least 30 days. Their proposal was rejected earlier on Tuesday by a majority in parliament. The SDS claims that the recognition of Palestine will not stop the war in Gaza but will only hurt Slovenian interests.

Norway, Ireland and Spain made a coordinated announcement on May 22, declaring their recognition of Palestine as a state effective as of May 28. But their decision was condemned by Israel.

On Monday, over 20 UN experts and special rapporteurs called for all countries to recognize a Palestinian state. So far, over 140 countries have already recognized a Palestinian state, representing more than two-thirds of the United Nations' membership.

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