Ambassador says Ireland should have already recognised Palestine

Ireland should have already recognised Palestine, its ambassador in Dublin has said.

Dr Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid welcomed comments from Irish deputy premier Micheal Martin that Ireland will formally recognise Palestinian statehood, but said it should have already happened.

On Tuesday, Mr Martin said he is bringing a formal proposal to the Government after working with other countries on a joint declaration.

He said: “For the past six months, I’ve maintained ongoing discussions with ministerial colleagues and other countries about how a joint formal recognition of Palestinian statehood could be a catalyst to help the people of Gaza and the West Bank, and in furthering an Arab-led peace initiative.

North South Ministerial Council
Irish deputy premier Micheal Martin said he is bringing a formal proposal to the Government (Oliver McVeigh/PA)

“I’ve discussed this with those in the region who are working on peace initiatives and co-ordination with other countries continues intensively.

“We’ve discussed this between the Government parties and it is my intention to bring to Government a formal proposal on recognition when these wider international discussions are complete.”

Mr Martin, who is also Irish foreign minister, added: “But be in no doubt, recognition of a Palestinian state will happen.”

Israel-Hamas conflict
The Palestinian Embassy in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

“I hope that this recognition by Ireland will be a reality soon, and Ireland will lead other EU states to follow suit,” she said.

“Ireland has always stood on the right side of history, justice, humanity international law – so I expected that Ireland will lead in the recognition of the State of Palestine.”

However, asked whether Ireland should have moved to recognise Palestine a long time ago, the ambassador said: “Yes.”

She told RTE’s Morning Ireland radio programme that the right to a Palestinian state is an entitlement that arose from the 1947 Partition Plan which also led to the creation of Israel.

“The Palestinians deserve this. In 1947, when the Partition Plan gives these rights to the Israelis and the Palestinians – to the Arabs who live in Palestine, the homeland of the Palestinians…

“(To give recognition) is not helping the Palestinians – it’s something that they have the right to.”

Dr Wahba Abdalmajid added: “The whole world – the international community – should acknowledge and recognise the rights of the Palestinians who have their own free state of Palestine.”

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