Spain to vote today on recognizing Palestinian state

Published November 18th, 2014 - 02:11 GMT

Spain's parliament will vote Tuesday on a non-binding motion calling on the conservative government to recognize a Palestinian state in coordination with any similar EU move, parliamentary sources told AFP. 

The ruling Popular Party and the main opposition Socialists were in talks on the final wording of the motion, sources from the two parties said.

The motion, proposed by the Socialists, calls on the Spanish government to "recognise Palestine as a state", according to a draft text of the motion which can still be amended.

It also urges Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy "to promote in coordination with the European Union the recognition of the Palestinian state as sovereign, contiguous, democratic and independent which lives in peace and security with the state of Israel."

"It is not binding, it does not set a timeline for the recognition, it gives the government the margin to proceed with the recognition when it feels it will be opportune," Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told reporters in Brussels on Monday.

"If we want to be effective this recognition must be done in coordination with the European Union," he added.

Last month, Sweden became the first official EU country to recognize the "State of Palestine," prompting its ambassador to be recalled from Jerusalem in retaliation. 

However, it is unclear how binding that decision is, as Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem admitted Monday that it would not open an embassy in Ramallah following the announcement. 

"Nobody has opened an embassy in Ramallah, and we think that this can be managed by the consulate in Jerusalem, which is a satisfactory solution for us," Wallstroem told public radio.

Meanwhile, the UK's own recognition of a "Palestinian state" in a landslide vote of 274 to 12 in October has sparked uproar from local politicians and Israeli ministers alike - with Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz blaming the move specifically for an upswing in terrorism. 


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