BRUSSELS, December 13, 2014 – (WAFA) – Brussels Regional Parliament and the Portuguese Parliament voted by overwhelming majority on motions calling on their governments to recognize the independent state of Palestine.
Brussels Regional Parliament voted on a resolution demanding the Federal Belgian Government to immediately recognize the Palestinian state based on 1967 borders.
It called on the Belgian Government and European Union to work to resume the peace process between the Palestinian and Israeli parties in order to resolve all issues of the conflict.
56 deputies voted in favor of the resolution, while 11 deputies voted against and 12 deputies abstained from voting.
Brussels Parliament is thus the second regional parliament in the Kingdom of Belgium which dares on adopting this historic decision. Wallony Regional Parliament called Thursday evening for the Belgian Federal Government to recognize the State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel.
In a related development, the Portuguese Parliament overwhelmingly adopted Friday a resolution calling on its government to recognize the Palestinian state.
The motion, filed jointly by the ruling center-right and the opposition Socialist party, proposed “recognizing, in coordination with the European Union, the state of Palestine as independent and sovereign” based on 1967 borders.
The resolution recommended working with the European Union and international partners to continue promoting dialogue and peaceful coexistence between Palestine and Israel as two democratic states.
Portuguese Foreign Minister Rui Machete, who attended the parliamentary session, applauded the parliament’s near unanimity to adopt this motion and stated that the government “will choose the moment best suited” to recognize the Palestinian state.
The voting session was attended by Arab ambassadors based in Lisbon as well as a Palestinian delegation headed by Palestinian Ambassador to Portugal Hikmat Ajjuri.
Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki applauded the Portuguese Parliament’s motion as “an additional positive step toward securing a negotiated solution to the conflict based on the two-state solution.”
“The unanimous voting reflects the consensus among all political constituents and committees of solidarity with the Palestinian people on the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights,” said al-Malki in a press release.
He hailed the recognition as “a great achievement made by the Palestinian diplomacy following the guidance of President Mahmoud Abbas.”
Meanwhile, the Palestinian National Council hailed the resolution as “an important step in the right direction.”
“The string of calls by European parliaments to recognize the Palestinian people’s right to create their independent state provides further evidence that the world has grown weary of the ongoing Israeli occupation’s racist policies and violations against the Palestinian people and non-compliance with internationally binding resolutions. It also shows evidence that Israel gives preference to settlement, murder and terrorism over meeting the requirements of peace and establishing the sovereign Palestinian state,” stated Head of the Council Salim Za‘noun.
To be noted, an overwhelming majority of British members of Parliament favored a motion on October 14 that calls for the recognition of Palestine as an official state in a contribution for peace.
Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of the French lower house of parliament passed a symbolic motion on December 3rd in favor of recognizing an independent Palestinian state.
On October 30, Sweden became the first major European country to make the official recognition of the state of Palestine.
Sweden’s recognition makes it the 135th nation to recognize the state of Palestine.