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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister submits a proposal to Althingi for a parliamentary resolution on recognition of Palestine

Össur Skarphéðinsson, Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs, has submitted a proposal to Althingi for a Parliamentary Resolution on the Recognition of the Independence and Sovereignty of Palestine within the pre-1967 Six Day War borders. The first reading of the resolution took place on 6 October and it was subsequently referred to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament.

The Government‘s coalition platform from 2009 states that emphasis will be placed on establishing political links with the Palestinian National Authority and Iceland's support for Palestinian right to self-determination and an independent state.

In the commentary to the proposed resolution it is stated that the developments of the Arab Spring and the high hopes and expectations for the development of freedom, democracy and human rights in the Middle East have put the unresolved conflict between Israel and the Palestinians into renewed focus. The legitimate demands of the Palestinians for self-determination and a Palestinian state have to be recognized in this light.

The Palestinian National Authority has successfully implemented its economic and development programme and has now demonstrated clearly that the State of Palestine can stand on its own feet. Recent assessments by the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, have resulted in statements by these bodies that the Palestinian National Authority fully meets the threshold of a functioning state. Furthermore, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for assistance to the Palestinians concluded at its meeting on 18 September 2011, that the efforts to build robust state institutions and revive the Palestinian economy stand out as a remarkable international success story.       

The Icelandic Parliament has twice before unanimously adopted resolutions concerning the Middle East Conflict, in 1989 and 2002. In these resolutions Athingi emphasized the right of the Palestinians for self-determination and their right for an independent state through negotiations along with the right of Israel to exist within safe and secure borders.
 
The proposal and accompanying commentary can be read here.

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