Sun 23-June-2024

Spain, Norway, and Ireland call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Monday 27-May-2024

BRUSSELS, (PIC)

The Foreign Ministers of Spain, Ireland, and Norway have called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid.

Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares, during a joint press conference held with his Irish and Norwegian counterparts in the Belgian capital Brussels on Monday, said the three countries will officially declare their recognition of the State of Palestine tomorrow, Tuesday.

Albares affirmed that all decisions of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) are binding on all parties, and that Israel must stop its operation in Rafah, noting that the bombing of the city of Rafah took place after the ICJ decision, “which requires us to raise our voice in support of international law.”

Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin said that the international community, including the European Union, have been talking for decades about supporting a two-state solution based on the June 4, 1967 borders, but we have not come close to this solution.

He pointed out that “some have portrayed our decision regarding the recognition of the State of Palestine as an action that imposes a result on the parties, while others have described it as a reward for terrorism, which we confirm is far from the case, as we recognize the Palestinian and Israeli states because we want to see a future with normalized relations between the two peoples.”

He explained that the three countries are focusing on how to contribute to concrete steps to ensure the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and the implementation of the two-state solution.

The Minister continued, saying: “We held a meeting yesterday with European and Arab countries, and we agreed on the need to stop the hostilities in Gaza and take clear steps to establish a Palestinian state. We will now meet in the Council of EU Foreign Ministers, which must participate and support the regional plans and support the Palestinian reform plan that was discussed yesterday. This constitutes a path towards effective Palestinian governance for the Palestinians on their land.”

He condemned the attack that occurred yesterday on a refugee camp in the city of Rafah, which is a violation of the ICJ decision.

For his part, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said that the recognition of the Palestinian state is part of a path aimed at reaching a peace process in the Middle East, and Norway’s decision to recognize the state of Palestine will come into effect starting tomorrow, calling on European countries considering this to follow suit.

Eide stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire, the enhancement of humanitarian and relief efforts, and the necessity of updating the peaceful settlement by establishing a Palestinian state, to break the cycle of violence in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

He commented on the Israeli massacre in the city of Rafah, saying: “What we saw yesterday was barbaric, and it is not possible to bomb a densely populated area without harming civilians and children,” calling on Israel to stop its military operation in Rafah.

He pointed out that Israel’s continued war in Rafah is a violation of international humanitarian law and also violates the binding ICJ decision, stressing the need for the Security Council to implement the ICJ decision. He opined that the establishment of a Palestinian state would end the cycle of violence in Gaza and the West Bank.

In the context of the efforts made, the Norwegian Foreign Minister said that two important meetings were held yesterday, between partners and donors and Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Mustafa, and that the technocratic Palestinian government is trying to deal with the outstanding issues and provide the necessary services and reforms, expressing his confidence in the work of Prime Minister Mustafa in this context.

He also pointed out that the second meeting was with the Saudi Foreign Minister in the group of 38 European and Arab countries, in order to develop a peace plan that meets the demands and rights of the Palestinians, which resulted in support for the idea of convening a conference to implement the two-state solution.

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