European support

Ireland is ready to recognize a Palestinian state, says the Irish Prime Minister

Simon harris

Simon harris

Photo: Associated Press

Ireland is ready to formally recognize a Palestinian state and would like to do so together with Spain and other like-minded countries, Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said on Friday after a meeting with his Spanish counterpart, Pedro Sanchez. .

Spain and Ireland, supporters of Palestinian rights, last month lined up with Malta and Slovenia to work together towards the recognition of a Palestinian state, Reuters reports.

The efforts come as the rising death toll in Gaza from Israel's offensive to crush Hamas fueled global calls for a ceasefire and lasting solution to peace in the region.

"Let me say tonight that our assessment is that that point is getting closer and we would like to move together in that direction," Harris said after meeting Sanchez, the first prime minister to visit Dublin since Harris became prime minister this week.

"When we move forward we would like to do this together with many others as possible to give weight to the decision and send the strongest message. The people of Israel deserve a secure and peaceful future, and so do the people of Palestine. Equal sovereignty, equal respect", he added.

Israel has told the four EU countries that pledged to move towards Palestinian recognition that their move would amount to a "terrorist price" that would reduce the chances of a negotiated solution to the age-old conflict.

The meeting with Harris was part of a planned number of meetings by Sanchez this week with EU counterparts in an effort to rally support for the recognition of a Palestinian state.

Sanchez said after a meeting in Oslo with his Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Store earlier on Friday that there were "clear signs" in Europe that countries in the region were prepared to recognize a Palestinian state.

Sanchez has previously said he expects Madrid to extend recognition for the Palestinians until July.