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  • Palestinian refugee dances at Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus, Syria June 25, 2019.

    Palestinian refugee dances at Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus, Syria June 25, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 July 2019

The Slovenian nation hopes more European countries join the recognition of the sovereignty of Palestine.

Slovenia's Foreign Minister Miro Cerar said Wednesday in Ljubljana, the capital of his country, that his nation wishes to recognize the State of Palestine and hopes to be able to do so in the near future along with other European Union (EU) countries.

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"We will continue with activities so that a small group of EU member countries can be formed as soon as possible, which together with Slovenia recognize Palestine as an independent state," Cerar told a news conference after meeting with Palestine's Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki.

Cerar considered that the aforementioned recognition would have greater relevance if a group of European nations does it, than if Slovenia takes the step alone.

Palestinean Minister Malki was satisfied with the intentions of Slovenia and expressed hope that the recognition "comes soon."

Karl Erjavec, who was the leader of the Slovenian diplomacy in 2018, had advocated the recognition of the Palestinian state, although he did not expect a common position with other EU partners. The change of government in Slovenia in June 2018, however, delayed the official discussion of the Palestinian issue.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) proclaimed the State of Palestine, whose capital is East Jerusalem, in 1998.

To date, it has been recognized by a dozen of EU countries, most of which are nations of the former block of Soviet influence. Currently, 137 nations recognize the sovereignty of Palestine.

Lawmakers from Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Italy and the European Parliament have voted overwhelmingly in favor of recognition, although without adopting a binding resolution.

In February 2018, Israel’s Ambassador to Slovenia Eyal Sila spoke to Slovenia’s parliament speaker Milan Brglez and Foreign Policy Committee chair Jozef Horvat to warn them against recognizing the State of Palestine.

It would have “negative consequences” on Israeli-Slovenian relations, Sila said, as the Middle East Monitor reported.

Established when its territory became independent from Yugoslavia in 1991, the Republic of Slovenia is currently led by Marjan Sarec, a former actor who was elected Prime Minister by the National Assembly on Aug. 17, 2018.

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