Norway, Ireland, and Spain to recognize Palestinian statehood on May 28

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre announced the recognition at a press conference in Oslo, stating, “There cannot be peace in the Middle East if there is no recognition.” He confirmed that Norway’s recognition of Palestine would take effect immediately.

Norway, Ireland, and Spain are set to formally recognize Palestine as an independent state on May 28. This development, anticipated for weeks, marks a critical moment in the international community’s ongoing efforts to resolve the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre announced the recognition at a press conference in Oslo, stating, “There cannot be peace in the Middle East if there is no recognition.” He confirmed that Norway’s recognition of Palestine would take effect immediately.

Simultaneously, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez declared that Spain would also recognize Palestinian statehood. In Dublin, Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris echoed these sentiments, revealing that Ireland, alongside Norway and Spain, will formalize their recognition of Palestine. “Each of us will now undertake whatever national steps are necessary to give effect to that decision,” Harris said. “I’m confident that further countries will join us in taking this important step in the coming weeks.”

Currently, 143 out of the 193 United Nations member states have recognized Palestine. However, within the European Union, only eight out of the 27 member states—Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, and Cyprus—have recognized Palestine as a state. Despite these individual recognitions, the EU as a bloc has not officially recognized Palestinian statehood, reflecting the complexity and sensitivity of the issue within European diplomacy.

The broader international context includes near-universal recognition from African states, with the exceptions of Cameroon and Eritrea.

In contrast, the United States has maintained a more conservative stance. In mid-April, the U.S. blocked a resolution at the UN Security Council that would have facilitated full Palestinian membership in the world body, demonstrating the geopolitical challenges that continue to influence the Palestinian quest for statehood.

The announcements from Norway, Ireland, and Spain are expected to prompt a reevaluation of Palestinian recognition among other EU countries and beyond, potentially shifting the diplomatic landscape in favour of Palestinian sovereignty.

As the day unfolds, all eyes will be on the reactions from key global players, including Israel and the United States, as well as the potential ripple effects within the EU and the broader international community. The recognition by Norway, Ireland, and Spain signals a pivotal moment in the pursuit of peace and stability in the Middle East.