Posted: Fri 17th May 2024

Cross-party calls for recognition of Palestine

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Senedd members from Wales’ four main political parties set their differences aside to call on the Welsh and UK Governments to recognise the state of Palestine.

Plaid Cymru’s Peredur Owen Griffiths tabled a statement of opinion co-submitted by Labour’s John Griffiths, the Lib Dems’ Jane Dodds and the Conservatives’ Darren Millar.

The statement, which is similar to an early day motion in Westminster, will not be debated nor voted on in the Senedd chamber but MSs can add their name to support the cause.

It urges the Senedd to:

  • Recognise historic links between the Palestinian people and people of Wales.
  • Reaffirm its calls for an immediate ceasefire on all sides, the release of all hostages and an end to the conflict in Gaza.
  • Call upon the UK and Welsh Governments to immediately recognise the state of Palestine as a first step in a process to enable a path to a lasting peace and two-state solution.

Mr Owen Griffiths urged fellow members to support the cross-party statement which was signed by seven MSs when first published on May 16.

Palestine is recognised as a sovereign state by most of the UN’s 193 member states, with Ireland, Spain, Slovenia and Malta set to become the latest to join the list.

‘Growing movement’

The South Wales East MS called for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, the return of hostages, a massive humanitarian operation and the rebuilding of Gaza.

“We also need to establish Palestine as a recognised state in the eyes of the international community,” he said. “That is the best path to securing a just and long-lasting peace.

“We want the Welsh and UK Governments to step up, recognise Palestine as a state in its own right and then apply whatever pressure they can to achieve this change.

“The state of Palestine has already been recognised as a sovereign state by a majority of UN member states with many more already pledging to follow suit in the coming weeks.

“It is incumbent that the governments of Wales and the UK are not left behind by this growing movement in the international community for peace and justice in Palestine.”

‘Lasting solution’

Labour’s John Griffiths pointed to growing momentum to recognise Palestine as a state, agreeing it would be a key first step towards a lasting solution.

Mr Griffiths, who has represented Newport East since 1999, organised a meeting between MSs and Husam Said Zomlot, Palestine’s ambassador to the UK, on May 15.

He said Dr Zomlot provided an update on the situation on the ground in Gaza and his big ask was for support for the campaign to recognise Palestine as a state.

Mr Griffiths tabled a separate statement on the same day to mark 76 years since some 750,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes during the Nakba in 1948.

Darren Millar, who represents Clwyd West, said: “Recognition of a Palestinian State is a key step on the road to a permanent peace between Israel and Palestine.

“The sooner it happens, the better.”

By Chris Haines, ICNN Senedd reporter

 



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