Ireland officially recognises the State of Palestine

Ireland officially recognises the State of Palestine

After Spain and Norway, Ireland officially recognised the State of Palestine on Tuesday.

The Irish government recognises Palestine as a "sovereign and independent state" and will establish diplomatic relations between Dublin and Ramallah, according to a press release issued after a meeting of the Council of Ministers.

"Ireland's decision is about keeping hope alive. It is about believing that a two-state solution is the only way for Israel and Palestine to live side by side in peace and security," said Irish prime minister Simon Harris.

An Irish Ambassador to the State of Palestine will be appointed and an Irish Embassy will be opened in Ramallah, a city in the occupied West Bank.

The Irish government again called for an immediate ceasefire, the release of the Israeli hostages and unimpeded access to humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian state is now officially recognised by 146 of the 193 member states of the United Nations.

Two-state solution

Although the Irish government wanted to recognise Palestine at the end of a "peace process", it finally took this decision alongside Spain and Norway, said the country's prime minister.

He also urged his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu to "listen to the world" and put an end to a "humanitarian catastrophe" in Gaza.

"Today's decision by the Government represents our conviction that a political way forward is the only way to break the cycle of dispossession, subjugation, dehumanisation, terrorism and death that has marred the lives of Israelis and Palestinians for decades", added Ireland's minister for foreign affairs Micheál Martin.

He also called for action to "protect the viability of a two-state solution" and "the equal rights of Palestinians and Israelis to self-determination, peace, security and dignity".

"What the Palestinian people are asking of us is neither scandalous nor extravagant. In fact, it is modest. The desire to be recognised as a state like any other, to control its own affairs and to speak for itself on the international stage. Today, Ireland recognises that desire", added Ireland's minister for transport Eamon Ryan.

He also reiterated that Ireland unambiguously recognises Israel's right to exist.