A report by Israel’s media said that Slovenia may recognise Palestine as a state next month, with Luxembourg, Ireland and Belgium considering taking the same step.
According to the report, Slovenian Parliament Speaker Milan Brglez told Palestinian Ambassador Salah Abdel-Shafi last month that Slovenia’s recognition of a Palestinian state was purely a question of timing.
The report said that the Slovenian government decided to move ahead on plans to recognize a Palestinian state a week ago.
A vote on recognition is expected “to be held by the Slovenian parliament’s foreign affairs committee on January 31, followed by a vote of the full parliament in February”.
The Slovenian ambassador in Tel Aviv, Barbara Sušnik, “told The Times of Israel that the issue of recognizing Palestinian statehood has been pending in the country’s parliament since 2014, and is only now coming to a vote”.
Slovenia’s legislative branch, not its executive, “has the last word on foreign policy matters such as recognizing states”.
“Sušnik said it was difficult to predict how the parliamentarians would vote, but hinted that there was a good chance they would seek to assert the Palestinians’ right to self-determination”.
“For the people of Slovenia, the principle of self-determination of nations is very important”, she told The Times of Israel, “because that is how Slovenia became independent 26 years ago, when we exercised the right to self-determination. All nations have the right to self-determination”.
The report “said that Israel’s Foreign Ministry has been trying to recruit Slovenian lawmakers to oppose the move, although expectations are low that the process can be stopped”.
Meanwhile, Luxembourg, Ireland, and Belgium are all, according to the report, considering recognising Palestinian statehood soon.
The Times of Israel also noted a report in French paper Le Monde on Sunday, which said “France is trying to upgrade the Palestinian Authority’s status at the European Union, stopping short of full recognition of a Palestinian state. The French are reportedly pushing for an EU free trade agreement with the Palestinians, similar to the one signed with Israel”.