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Ireland Parliament Votes Unanimously for ‘Palestine’

Ireland’s lower house of Parliament approved a nonbinding resolution calling on the government to formally recognize the state of Palestine.

The measure that passed unanimously late Tuesday night in the Dail was sponsored by the left-wing Sinn Fein party. It calls for a State of Palestine on the basis of the 1967 borders with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

The motion is similar to one passed in October by the upper house of Parliament, the Seanad.

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan told the Associated Press his government is considering recognition of Palestinian statehood as a possible tactic for kick-starting Middle East peace talks, an idea bitterly opposed by Israel.

“I’ve no difficulty in principle with the idea of early recognition, if I believe it can contribute to achieving a settlement of the conflict,” Flanagan told lawmakers. “The present stalemate is not acceptable.”

He credited Sweden with inspiring the entire 28-nation EU to consider Palestinian statehood. He said Ireland still hoped to make the move as part of a wider Mideast peace deal, not before it or unilaterally in advance of achieving an EU consensus.

The issue of recognition for a state of Palestine has been spreading across Europe.

Spain, France and Britain recently passed similar nonbinding motions. Sweden has also announced it would recognize a Palestinian state.

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