Arab League hails Spain’s plan to recognize Palestine

CAIRO (AA) – The Arab League on Monday welcomed Spain’s willingness to recognize the state of Palestine.

The Spanish move reflects the deep attachment the people and government of Spain have toward the Palestinian cause, the league’s Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell announced his country's intention to officially recognize the state of Palestine, saying Madrid was now awaiting a unanimous EU resolution in this regard.

According to Borrell, his government plans to set a deadline by which the EU should reach consensus on the issue.

If the deadline passes without consensus being reached, the foreign minister said, Madrid will unilaterally acknowledge the state of Palestine.

"The current U.S. administration policies starting with the transfer of its embassy to Jerusalem last May unveiled its complete prejudice to the Israeli agenda. Those policies require all the peace-loving powers to stand by the Palestinians in their legitimate peaceful struggle," the Arab League’s secretary general said.

Gheit noted that “such a step will encourage other European countries to follow suit.”

Palestine embarked on its current strategy of seeking international recognition as an independent state in 1988 with its declaration of independence.

In 2009 and 2010, a second phase of this strategy began, during which a number of capitals formally recognized Palestine as a country.

In 2012, the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status at the world body to a “non-member observer state”.

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