DUBLIN (Reuters) - The Irish government will accept a motion to be proposed by the opposition on Tuesday calling on parliament to recognize Palestine as a state, echoing similar recent symbolic decisions in other European Union countries.
While most developing countries recognize Palestine as a state, most Western European countries do not, supporting the Israeli and U.S. position that an independent Palestinian state should emerge from negotiations with Israel.
European countries have grown frustrated with Israel, which since the collapse of the latest U.S.-sponsored talks in April has pressed on with building settlements in territory the Palestinians want for their state.
The government’s decision comes after Sweden became the biggest Western European country to recognize Palestine, and parliaments in Spain, Britain and France held votes in which they backed non-binding resolutions in favor of recognition.
It also follows the passing of a motion in Ireland’s upper house in October calling on the government to formally recognize Palestine.
Members of parliament in the lower house are due to discuss the motion proposed by the opposition Sinn Fein party later on Tuesday and on Wednesday. A government spokesman said it will not oppose the bill, meaning MPs will not be required to vote.
The motion calls on the government to “officially recognize the State of Palestine, on the basis of the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital, as established in UN resolutions, as a further positive contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
It also recognizes that “continued Israeli settlement construction and extension activities in the West Bank, is illegal and severely threatening the establishment of a viable Palestinian state.”
Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Ralph Boulton