Recognition of Palestinian statehood by EU countries much closer – Harris

Recognition Of Palestinian Statehood By Eu Countries Much Closer – Harris
It is the second time Mr Harris and Mr Sanchez have met this week, after the Taoiseach travelled to Brussels on Thursday..
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By Cate McCurry and Cillian Sherlock, PA

Taoiseach Simon Harris has said that the point at which Ireland and Spain can recognise the State of Palestine is “coming much closer”.

He made the comments following a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez at Government Buildings in Dublin on Friday afternoon.


The pair discussed the recognition of Palestinian statehood, with Mr Harris saying that Ireland would move with Spain and other EU countries when “the time is right”.

On Tuesday, Tánaiste Micheál Martin said he is bringing a formal proposal to the Government after working with other countries on a joint declaration to formally recognise Palestinian statehood.

Pedro Sanchez visit to Ireland
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks to the media. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA.


It is the second time Mr Harris and Mr Sanchez have met this week, after the Taoiseach travelled to Brussels on Thursday.

“I want this afternoon to pay tribute to all those working so hard to try to bring about an immediate ceasefire and the release of the hostages, including through the talks in Cairo, facilitated by the US, Qatar and Egypt,” Mr Harris said.

“At last month’s meeting of the European Council, Ireland and Spain, together with Malta and Slovenia, said that we were ready to do so when the conditions are right.

“Let me this evening say our assessment is that that point is coming much closer and we would like to move together in doing so.


“The people of Palestine have long sought the dignity of their own country and sovereignty.

Pedro Sanchez visit to Ireland
Taoiseach Simon Harris and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA.

“A home that like Ireland and Spain can take its place amongst the nations of the Earth.


“When we move forward, we would like to do so with as many others as possible to lend weight to the decision and to send the strongest message.

“The people of Israel deserve a secure and peaceful future. So do the people of Palestine. Equal sovereignty, equal respect, in a region where people of all faiths and all traditions live together in peace.”

Mr Harris also said it was possible to condemn the Hamas attack on October 7th and call for the unconditional release of the remaining hostages, and to also want to see a two-state political solution.

This week, Israel’s ambassador to Ireland Dana Erlich claimed the Government’s push to recognise Palestinian statehood is “rewarding terrorism”.


“It’s entirely possible to call out the horrors that the State of Israel suffered at the hands of Hamas whilst also saying that there must now be an immediate cessation of violence,” Mr Harris said.

“The scenes that we’re seeing in Gaza in terms of hunger, thirst, mutilation, death of innocent children, women, men, the destruction of so much civilian infrastructure, hospitals, schools, homes, has to stop.

“The only way forward here is for a political peace process that brings about the two-state solution for which Ireland has been so long committed, as I know Spain has as well.”

Speaking after the bi-lateral meeting, Mr Sanchez said he wanted to thank Mr Harris and his predecessor Leo Varadkar for their leadership.

“We need leaders who are committed to peace, justice, human rights, and welfare – inside and outside of European boundaries,” he added.

“We know that the situation in the Gaza Strip is terrible and that we can’t see signs of improvement.”

He said that Ireland and Spain agree on the urgency for an immediate ceasefire and increasing humanitarian aid to Gaza as well as the release of hostages in Gaza.


“We also agree that it is vital to reach a political solution that brings peace and stability to the region and that solution must recognise the living together of two states, Palestinian and Israeli states,” he added.

“We, internationally, will not be able to help Palestine unless we recognise its existence and so we, both countries, have agreed to recognise Palestine as a state publicly, as soon as possible, when conditions are right.

“We commit to support the recognition of Palestine as a full member of the United Nations for two reasons.

“First to give a message of hope, hope for the millions of people in Gaza, Palestine and in the region who are suffering.

“Secondly, because we want to show the world that in Europe, there are people who defend the international rules and order in all cases across the board.”

He said he wants to see a peace process that will bring “prosperity and peace” to the Israelis and Palestinians.

“As of now, we cannot outline a timeline, we’re in uncharted territory but in these circumstances… if we continue on the current path it will bring more conflict, more hatred, and more problems so we have to move forward,” Mr Sanchez added.

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