The Spanish government will promote a European move to recognize Palestine as an independent state, Spain’s foreign minister said Thursday, adding that if the move fails the government will consider a Spain-only recognition.
If “the EU is not able to reach unanimous decision – each to their own,” Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said at a conference of European Union leaders in Austria Tuesday. He added the last option of individual recognition of Palestine is “on the table.”
Borrell also said that he will launch an “intensive” consultation process with his counterparts to set a timetable for achieving a common position on the subject.
According to the Palestinian Authority, there are now 139 countries that recognize Palestine. The European Union has disagreements over a unilateral move of this kind. The EU official position supports a two-state solution, the details of which will be achieved through negotiations between the sides.
It has recently been reported that left-wing parties in Spain are exerting heavy pressure on Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to recognize a Palestinian state. According to those reports, opponents in Spain claim that such a step could lead Israel to recognize an independent Catalonia.
In 2017, the Spanish government in Madrid requested that Israel officially announce that it will not recognize Catalonia. Israel declined to support either side, calling the conflict an “internal European issue.”
In January, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the European Union to recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.