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Ireland ‘ready to recognise Palestine state’

Ireland, Spain, Malta and Slovenia are ready to recognise the Palestine state when the circumstances are right, the countries have said.

It follows discussions between Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the prime ministers of the three other countries at the European Council meeting in Brussels this morning.

In a statement, Mr Varadkar and the prime ministers of Malta, Slovenia and Spain said they would move to recognise Palestine when it can make a positive contribution.

“We agreed that the only way to achieve lasting peace and stability in the region is through implementation of a two-state solution, with Israeli and Palestinian States living side-by-side, in peace and security,” the statement said.

This move follows on from a call by the European Council last night for an immediate humanitarian pause in Gaza leading to a sustained ceasefire.

Last night, after months of trying, progress was made on reaching a greater degree of EU unity around what needs to happen in Gaza.

Collectively, the leaders condemned Hamas’s terrorist actions, called for a sustained ceasefire and the rapid delivery of humanitarian aid to relieve the suffering of civilians in Gaza along with the release of hostages.

The Council concluded there must also be a two-State solution and an end to the expansion of illegal settlements.

The Taoiseach said this position is now very much in line with the public stance of the Irish Government.

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