Norway Officially Recognizes State of Palestine, Joining Ireland and Spain in Historic Move

Broad Support in Norwegian Parliament as Norway Becomes 146th UN Member to Acknowledge Palestinian Statehood.

Prime Minister Støre: “Peace in the Middle East Requires a Two-State Solution”

In a landmark decision, Norway has officially recognized the State of Palestine, joining Ireland and Spain in a coordinated move aimed at advancing the two-state solution long advocated by many global leaders. This recognition, announced on Wednesday by Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, comes precisely 75 years after Norway first recognized the state of Israel.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre emphasized the necessity of acknowledging both Israeli and Palestinian states to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East. “Both Israelis and Palestinians have a right to live in peace in their own state,” Støre stated during a highly anticipated press conference. “There can’t be peace in the Middle East without a two-state solution. There can be no two-state solution without a Palestinian state.”

This decision makes Norway the 146th member of the United Nations to recognize Palestine, a significant milestone shared with Ireland and Spain, whose recognitions will also take effect on May 28. The move was greeted with widespread support from various segments of Norwegian society, including the parliament, the Labour Party, and the country’s powerful labor unions.

The announcement followed recent May Day demonstrations led by Peggy Hessen Følsvik, head of Norway’s largest trade union confederation, LO, who declared, “The rule of law must be respected, Palestine must be recognized as its own state.” This sentiment echoed through the streets of Oslo and other cities, where pro-Palestinian demonstrations have been ongoing for months.

Prime Minister Støre also proposed that the territorial borders between Israel and Palestine should revert to those existing before June 4, 1967, with Jerusalem divided between the two states and options for land swaps. “In the middle of a war, with tens of thousands dead and injured, we must keep the only thing that can bring about safe homelands for both Israelis and Palestinians,” he said.

The decision by Norway, Ireland, and Spain has not been without controversy. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz promptly announced the recall of Israel’s ambassadors to these countries for consultations. “I’m sending a clear and unequivocal message to Ireland and Norway: Israel will not remain silent in the face of those undermining its sovereignty and endangering its security,” Katz declared.

Norway Officially Recognizes State of Palestine, Joining Ireland and Spain in Historic Move
(L) Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris (R) Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez

Meanwhile, Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris highlighted the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, stating that “permanent peace can only be secured upon the basis of the free will of a free people.” He described the conditions in Gaza as “a humanitarian catastrophe, unimaginable to most, and unconscionable to all.” Similarly, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez stressed that Spain’s recognition of Palestine is driven by a commitment to “peace, justice, and consistency,” and called for renewed dialogue to achieve a two-state solution.

As Norway’s recognition of Palestine becomes official on May 28, it marks a significant step towards what many hope will be a peaceful resolution to the decades-long conflict. The international community will be watching closely to see how this historic decision impacts the broader geopolitical landscape in the Middle East.

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