Parliament in Favor of the Recognition of Palestine

The committee voted against the original proposal by the opposition United List (ZL) to immediately recognise independence, opting instead for the proposal by the ruling SMC party that gives the government initiative without specifying a deadline.

The vote came after Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec asked MPs to follow customary practice and let the government draw up the appropriate proposal which the National Assembly will then vote on.

"It is necessary to examine many aspects, including with regard to our role in the EU, where they do not want the recognition process to be anarchic," he said.

At the same time, he noted that recognition alone would not lead to a long-term solution to the Middle East conflict.

The outcome of the vote is expected and it gives the government time to delay the decision until such time as it sees fit to move on the issue.

All parties support an independent Palestine, bar the opposition Democrats (SDS), whose leader, Janez Janša, told the committee independence would lead to "total war" since Hamas is opposed to the very existence of Israel.

This was also how the vote went: twelve in favour of the decision, including the ZL proponent of the original motion, and four SDS deputies against.

The committee also adopted a motion calling on the government to lobby for Palestine recognition in the EU and international organisations and "adopt a positive stance on Palestine's efforts to secure membership of international organisations."

At the same time, the government was urged to actively support international efforts towards a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, including "mutual recognition by both countries."

Erjavec was pleased with the outcome of the session, noting that it was customary for governments to propose such acts and that the original proposal would have bypassed it.

There is "strong support in the government for Palestine recognition, but we are a part of the international community, a part of the EU…so it is right that the matters be coordinated."

He said the government decision would come "soon", which he will "personally strive for". "I'm convinced the recognition will help revive the Middle East peace process, which is currently dead."

At the same time, the move would be "a message to the Israeli side that it cannot act this way."

Even though their motion was defeated the ZL was pleased with the outcome of the vote.

But given that no deadline was provided, deputy Matej T. Vatovec said they would give the government "a reasonable time, a month or two", before they start "knocking on their door."