Slovenia Recognizes Palestinian State Following Parliamentary Vote

Spain, Norway and Ireland recently recognized a Palestinian state


On June 4, Slovenia recognized a Palestinian state after an overwhelming parliamentary vote, following the recent actions of three other European nations.

Last week, Slovenia’s government endorsed a motion to recognize a Palestinian state and sent the proposal to parliament for final approval, which was required for the decision to take effect.

On June 4, lawmakers voted 52-0 in favor of recognition in the 90-seat Parliament, with the remaining lawmakers absent for the vote.

“Dear people of Palestine, today’s final decision of Slovenia is a message of hope and peace,” Slovenia’s Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon announced on the social media platform X. “We believe that only a two-state solution can lead to lasting peace in the #MiddleEast. Slovenia will tirelessly continue to work on the security of both nations, Palestinians and Israelis.

Slovenia’s move follows recent recognition of a Palestinian state by Spain, Norway, and Ireland, a decision that drew criticism from Israel.

Before Slovenia’s recognition, only seven out of the 27 European Union member states had officially recognized a Palestinian state. Among them, five were former East bloc countries that declared recognition in 1988, alongside Cyprus before joining the EU. Sweden joined them in recognizing Palestine in 2014.

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“We started talking with our allies about the recognition of Palestine in February this year,” Prime Minister Robert Golob told lawmakers before Tuesday’s vote. “At the time, the assessment was — the time is not yet ripe … we warned that we, Europe, have a … duty to act.”

The ruling coalition, led by Mr. Golob, enjoys a comfortable majority in Slovenia’s Assembly, making the vote largely procedural.

In his address to parliament, Mr. Golob also referenced Slovenia’s independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.

“We Slovenians have dreamed of this right for 1,000 years. We got it 33 years ago,” Mr. Golob said. “Unfortunately, the Palestinian nation has not yet received this right.”

The Slovenian Democratic Party, the main opposition, is against the recognition and has called for a referendum to delay the vote. However, on June 4, they withdrew the request before later filing another one, which was dismissed by parliament.

Slovenia initiated the process of recognizing Palestine in May, but initially decided to postpone it until the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza subsided. However, Prime Minister Golob recently expedited the process in response to Israel’s intensified attacks on Rafah, resulting in the displacement of over a million Palestinians.

The conflict began on October 7 when Hamas-led militants launched a surprise attack across the Gaza border into southern Israel, resulting in 1,200 deaths and the capture of 250 hostages. Since then, Israel’s military response has led to the deaths of over 36,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not differentiate between military personnel and civilian casualties.

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