The Slovenia Times

Slovenia one step away from recognising Palestine

The Palestinian flag hung out next to those of Slovenia and the EU at the Government Palace. Photo: STA

Slovenia is just one step away from formally recognising Palestine as a state after the government endorsed the decision on 30 May and referred it to the National Assembly for final approval. That vote will be taken on 4 June.

"Today the government made a decision to recognise Palestine as an independent and sovereign state," Prime Minister Robert Golob announced after the cabinet session.

The ruling coalition is united on the issue and has a comfortable majority in parliament, which means there is little doubt that the decision will be passed. It requires a simple majority to get endorsed.

A potential referendum initiative by the opposition might delay the recognition. The two opposition parties do not support the move, but the smaller of them, New Slovenia (NSi), said it would abstain in the vote. The Democrats (SDS) are expected to vote against.

Slovenia will recognise Palestine within the 1967 borders between Israel and Palestine, or within the borders agreed by the parties in a future peace agreement, Golob explained.

"The decision has one message, a message to both sides that we want an immediate end to hostilities and an immediate and unconditional release of hostages," Golob said. He said the move was not aimed against anyone.

He is confident that other Western countries will recognise Palestine in the coming months and that Arab countries will recognise the state of Israel.

Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon welcomed the move as a historic step. "The Israelis and Palestinians have the right to raise their children in peace, safety and prosperity in their own states. The recognition of Palestine is the only way for the two countries and peoples to coexist in peace," she wrote on X.

As the decision was made, the Palestinian flag was hoisted on the government building.

Reacting to the government's decision on X, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said it "rewards Hamas for murder, rape, mutilation of bodies, beheading of babies, and strengthens the Iranian axis of evil while damaging the close friendship between the Slovenian and Israeli people". He hopes "the Slovenian Parliament rejects this recommendation".

The government opened the procedure to recognise Palestine on 9 May, and was coordinating with a group of other like-minded countries to join a bigger group recognising Palestine.

After Spain, Ireland and Norway announced their plan to formally recognise Palestine, which they did on 28 May, there were calls for Slovenia to speed up the process to follow suit.

On 27 May, while on a visit to Algeria, Golob said the government would not be waiting with the step any longer, also because of Israel's deadly attacks on Rafah.


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