Recognition of Palestinian state by three European countries may encourage more, says Palestinian PM

A Palestinian flag flies as the ruins of houses, which were destroyed by Israeli air strikes during the Israeli-Palestinian fighting, are seen, in Gaza

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The prime minister of the Palestinian Authority expressed hope on Sunday that Spain, Ireland and Norway's recognition of a Palestinian state would encourage other European countries to do the same.

Mohammad Mustafa, in Brussels to attend a meeting with international donors, said he was grateful that the three had effectively joined 143 other countries that backed a Palestinian bid to become a full United Nations members in a resolution earlier in May.

"We obviously want to have every country in Europe do the same," he told a news conference in Brussels with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares.

"So this is again hopefully a source of encouragement for these countries to take the necessary courageous step."

The Middle East conflict has exposed diverging views in the European Union. Some EU diplomats have said it is not the right time to recognise Palestinian statehood.

Mustafa said recognition now was vital to keep the peace process alive.

Spain's Albares said other European countries were thinking about it, including Slovenia that had started the process.

Spain, Ireland and Norway said they will formally recognise a Palestinian state on Tuesday to help secure a halt to Israel's Gaza offensive after the Hamas attack on Oct. 7 and revive peace talks that stalled a decade ago.

Israel has called plans for recognition of a Palestinian state a "prize for terrorism".

Mustafa said he would spell out to international partners three priorities for his authority - supporting the people of Gaza, including by restoring basic services, building the institutions of a state and stabilising the financial situation.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Christina Fincher)