Irish MPs have urged their government to recognise Palestine as a state in a symbolic motion that sailed through parliament unopposed.

Ireland's parliament is the fourth European assembly to call for the recognition of Palestinian statehood since October.

MPs in France, Britain and Spain also endorsed similar motions, reflecting growing frustration with the deadlocked Middle East peace process.

Sweden has gone even further, officially recognising Palestine as a state on October 30 in a move that prompted Israel to recall its ambassador. It became the world’s 135th country, and the first in Western Europe, to do it.

Until the Swedish announcement, support within the EU was limited to the eastern member states of Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, all of which already recognised the state of Palestine before their accession to the EU.



The non-binding motion agreed by politicians in Dublin called on the government to "officially recognise the State of Palestine, on the basis of the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital, as established in UN resolutions".

This would be "a further positive contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict", it added.

The government is not bound to follow the motion but Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said that Ireland supported early recognition of a Palestinian state "in principle".

"We have always supported a viable two-state solution and will continue to support that in any manner and by any means," Flanagan told parliament.

Source: Agencies