Slovenia Readies to Recognize Palestine After Trump Embassy Move
EghtesadOnline: Slovenia is preparing to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state next month amid rising sentiment among the European Union nations after U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Slovenia would join Sweden as only the second EU member to recognized Palestine among the bloc’s 28 countries, Delo newspaper reported Monday, citing Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec. Debates on the whether to acknowledge the State of Palestine also happening in Portugal, Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg, according to the Ljubljana-based newspaper. Since 1988, 136 countries have recognized the State of Palestine at the United Nations, where it has the status of "non-member observer state."
Slovenia, an EU and NATO member of 2 million people, has said it wants to pursue a more independent foreign policy in the 28-member bloc, which has at times struggled to formulate a common approach to global issues. Trump, whose wife Melania Trump hails from Slovenia, decided in December that the U.S. will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The decision is seen as an obstacle to create a separate state from Israel for the Palestinians, who see Jerusalem as their capital too, Bloomberg reported.
“The relocation of the U.S. embassy means a move away from the two-state solution,” Erjavec said, according to Delo. “I think now is the right time for additional support for Palestine.”
The Slovenian foreign minister will test sentiment for the decision Monday in Brussels at a meeting with his EU counterparts. Erjavec is also set to meet President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas in Brussels. The final decision on acknowledging the State of Palestine lies with lawmakers in Ljubljana after a formal proposal is made by Prime Minister Miro Cerar’s cabinet.