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Norway calls recognition of Palestinian state 'special day'

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Norway calls recognition of Palestinian state 'special day'
Norway recognised Palestine as a state on Tuesday, May 28th. File photo: Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide holds a joint press conference with his Spanish and Irish counterparts at the the Permanent Representation of Spain to the European Union in Brussels. Photo by Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP)

Norway hailed its recognition Tuesday of a Palestinian state as a special day and denounced Israel's lack of "constructive commitment" for a two-state solution.

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"Norway has been one of the most fervent defenders of a Palestinian state for more than 30 years," Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said in a statement.

"The day that Norway officially recognises Palestine as a state is a special day for Norway-Palestine relations."

In a move coordinated with Spain and Ireland, Norway announced last week it would formally recognise the State of Palestine as of Tuesday.

Israel slammed the decision as a "reward" for Hamas more than seven months into the devastating Gaza war.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz immediately announced he was recalling the country's envoys to the three nations, and summoned the three countries' ambassadors for talks.

Despite the criticism, Barth Eide on Sunday in Brussels formally informed Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Mustafa of Norway's decision.

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"It is regrettable that the Israeli government shows no sign of constructive commitment," Barth Eide said Tuesday, calling on the international community to boost its efforts for a two-state solution.

"I trust the Palestinian government will continue the difficult reform work and lay the groundwork for governance in the West Bank as well as Gaza after a ceasefire," he said.

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