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Slovenia becomes latest European country to recognize a Palestinian state after a parliamentary vote

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Slovenia recognized a Palestinian state Tuesday after its parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the move, following recent steps taken by three other European countries.

The Slovenian government has approved a motion last week to recognize a Palestinian stateand sent the proposal to Parliament for final approval, necessary for the decision to enter into force.

Lawmakers voted Tuesday with 52 votes in favor and none against recognition in the 90-seat parliament. Other lawmakers were not present for the vote.

“Dear Palestinian people, the final decision taken today by Slovenia is a message of hope and peace,” Slovenian Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said on the social media platform two-state solution can lead to lasting peace in Palestine. THE #Middle East. Slovenia will continue tirelessly to work for the security of both Palestinian and Israeli nations.”

Slovenia’s decision came a few days after Spain, Norway and Ireland recognized a Palestinian state, a decision that was condemned by Israel.

Previously, only seven members of the 27-country European Union officially recognized a Palestinian state. Five of them are former Eastern Bloc countries which announced their recognition in 1988, just like Cyprus, before joining the EU. Recognition from Sweden came in 2014.

“We started talking with our allies about recognizing Palestine in February of this year,” Prime Minister Robert Golob told lawmakers before Tuesday’s vote. “At the time, we thought that the time had not yet come… we warned that we, Europe, had a duty to act.”

The ruling coalition led by Golob holds a comfortable majority in the Slovenian assembly and the vote was expected to be only a formality.

Golob also referred to Slovenia’s independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 in his remarks to parliament.

“We Slovenes have been dreaming of this right for 1,000 years. We got it 33 years ago,” Golob said. “Unfortunately, the Palestinian nation has not yet achieved this right.”

Slovenia’s main opposition party, the Slovenian Democratic Party, opposes this recognition. The right-wing party called for a referendum on the issue, which would delay the vote, but it withdrew its proposal on Tuesday before presenting another, which was rejected by parliament.

Slovenia began the recognition process in early May, but said it would wait for developments in the current context. Israel-Hamas war in Gaza improved. Golob explained that he was speeding up the process in response to Latest Israeli attacks on the town of Rafah, southern Gazawhich pushed more than a million Palestinians to flee.

The war was sparked by the October 7 attack by Hamas, in which militants stormed the Gaza border into southern Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking around 250 hostages. Israeli air and ground attacks have since killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza Ministry of Healthwhich does not distinguish between combatants and civilians.

More than 140 countries recognize a Palestinian state, more than two-thirds of the United Nations.

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Gn world

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