Slovenia becomes latest European country to recognize Palestinian state

Radina Gigova and Stephanie Halasz

Slovenia has become the latest European country to formally recognize Palestinian statehood, after the country’s parliament approved the move with a majority vote on Tuesday.

The decision follows those of Spain, Ireland and Norway, who formally recognized Palestinian statehood in late May.

The growing momentum in Europe is likely to bolster the global Palestinian cause, but could further strain relations with Israel.

Most of the world already recognizes Palestinian statehood. More than 140 out of 193 member states of the United Nations have made their recognition official. But only some nations in the 27-member European Union are among them.

The vote passed with 52 votes in favor and zero against, Slovenia’s national broadcaster RTV Slovenija reported. The vote passed during an extraordinary parliament session after numerous procedural hurdles, according to the outlet.

Slovenia is the latest country to formally recognize a Palestinian state

The decision follows Spain, Ireland and Norway, which formally recognized Palestinian statehood in May. They have joined more than 140 countries that have recognized a Palestinian state since 1988. None of the G7 countries — United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy or Japan — do.

Countries that have recognized a Palestinian state

“Today is a historic day! The National Assembly of Slovenia has officially recognized Palestine, making Slovenia the 147th country to do so,” Slovenia’s Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said in a series of posts on social media.

“This recognition is an expression of our commitment to peace and justice. Slovenia is on the right side of history, contributing to the two-state solution for lasting peace,” Fajon said.

Israel launched its military offensive in Gaza on October 7 after the militant group Hamas, which governs Gaza, killed at least 1,200 people and abducted more than 250 others. Israeli attacks in Gaza have since killed at least 36,550 Palestinians and injured another 82,959 people, according to the Ministry of Health there. CNN cannot independently confirm the figures.

Amid the rising toll, Israel has come under increasingly fierce criticism. Earlier this month, a panel of independent UN experts condemned “the continued and systematic onslaught of violence committed against Palestinians in Gaza.” The agency has repeatedly called for a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of hostages taken by Hamas.

Slovenia’s foreign minister said the country believes only a two-state solution can lead to a lasting peace in the Middle East and that her country “will tirelessly continue to work on the security of both nations, Palestinians and Israelis.”

The two-state solution has been the goal of the international community for decades, with many nations believing it is the only way out of the long-running conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed the idea of two states in 2009 under pressure from the Obama administration, but more recently has said that recognizing a Palestinian state post-October 7 would be a “reward for terror.” Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz ordered the immediate recall of Israel’s ambassadors to Spain, Norway and Ireland after the countries’ decision last month.

The vast majority of the population in Gaza are descendants of 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were forcibly expelled from their homes during what Palestinians call al-Nakba, or “the catastrophe,” of the 1948-49 war, in what is now Israel.

With additional reporting by Sophie Jeong, Zahid Mahmood, Al Goodman, Niamh Kennedy and Sana Noor Haq

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