Norway to recognise Palestinian state, Spain and Ireland expected to follow

Norway’s move has been a long time coming and this morning’s announcement by Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store is in his words sending a message to other countries to follow suit.

We know that Spain and Ireland are set to do that too – and Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez visited Norway and Ireland last month in an attempt to co-ordinate such a move.

Norway has long supported a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians and mediated the highly secretive talks that led to the 1993 Oslo Accords that resulted in limited self-rule by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza.

Last November, Norway’s parliament, the Storting, voted to support a move calling on his centre-left government to “be prepared to recognise Palestine” as a state.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eid has spoken of the war in Gaza as a drama that has to be met with an “irreversible path towards a settlement”.

But he has also said recognition of a Palestinian state is “not an outcome – it’s a tool to help something to happen”.

“We don’t want a ‘Hamas state’,” he was quoted as saying last month, but a Palestinian state that comes from the Palestinian Authority.

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