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'Right side of history': Saudi FM thanks Spain for Palestine recognition

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
'Right side of history': Saudi FM thanks Spain for Palestine recognition
Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez (L) poses with Saudi Arabia's Foreign minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud (C), Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa and other representatives of the Islamic Arab Ministerial Committee on Gaza, prior to their meeting in Madrid on May 29, 2024. (Photo by Pierre-Philippe MARCOU / AFP)

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Wednesday thanked Ireland, Norway and Spain for recognising a Palestinian state, saying during a visit to Madrid they were "on the right side of history".

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The coordinated diplomatic move Tuesday by the three western European countries, which believe their initiative has strong symbolic impact that could encourage others to follow suit, has been slammed by Israel.

"We are here to say thank you to Spain for giving hope in a very dark time", Prince Faisal told reporters in Madrid, flanked by his peers from Jordan, Qatar, Turkey and the Palestinian authority before they held talks with Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares.

"We are here to say thank you to Spain and to Norway and to Ireland and to Slovenia for taking the right decision, at the right time, for being on the right side of history, for being on the right side of justice," he said.

IN DEPTH: Why does Spain support Palestine?

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Slovenia’s government passed a decree this month on recognising a Palestine state that will be sent to parliament on Thursday before a vote expected in the next few days.

Before the talks with their Spanish counterpart, the Arab ministers had a meeting with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

Spain will continue working so that more European nations recognise a Palestinian state, and "with our Arab partners and friends to normalise relations between Arab countries and Israel", Albares said.

"And when the guns fall silent, when peace comes, it will be time to build a horizon of definitive peace," he continued.

"Spain has a long tradition of friendship with the Arab world. Our historical, political and commercial ties, but above all our cultural and human ties, the ties between our peoples, have united us for centuries.

"And at this difficult time, our friendship and frank dialogue take on a special value and become a critical element in building bridges between Europe and the Arab world."

Of the United Nations' 193 member states, 145 now recognise Palestinian statehood.

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