Slovenia latest European nation to recognize Palestinian state

Slovenia's parliament on Tuesday passed a decree recognizing a Palestinian state, following last week's recognition by three other European states.

With the move in response to the devastating Gaza war, Slovenia becomes the latest to do so, pushing ahead with a vote in defiance of an opposition motion to derail it.

Fifty-two members of the 90-member parliament voted in favour of the government-sponsored decree to recognize a Palestinian state after a chaotic six-hour parliament session.

"Today's recognition of Palestine as a sovereign and independent state sends hope to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and in Gaza," Prime Minister Robert Golob wrote on the government's account on X after the vote as the Palestinian flag was raised in front of parliament.

The opposition boycotted the vote except for one lawmaker who attended but abstained.

Slovenia's centre-left government sent the decree on recognizing a Palestine state for parliamentary approval last Thursday as part of efforts to end the fighting in Gaza as soon as possible.

The conservative opposition Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) led by former prime minister Janez Jansa on Monday then filed a proposal to hold an advisory referendum on the recognition.

It said Slovenia should remain with the majority of EU states that have decided now is not the right time for such a move.

The government's recognition "causes long term damage to Slovenia by supporting the terrorist organisation Hamas," SDS said.

The party had expected to delay the vote since the legislation sets a 30-day deadline before lawmakers can vote on a disputed bill.

At Tuesday's session, 52 lawmakers rejected the opposition motion for a referendum on the issue.

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