December 15, 2011

Iceland formally recognizes Palestine as a state

Iceland formally today recognized the Palestinian state at a ceremony in Reykjavik, AFP reports.
Foreign Minister Oessur Skarphedinsson's announcement makes Iceland one of the first Western European countries to recognize Palestine.
"This is the day I formally submit to you the declaration of Palestine independence in accordance to the will of the Icelandic parliament," Skarphedinsson said, addressing his Palestinian counterpart Riad Malki at a news conference, AFP reports.
The Guardian  reports that statements on government websites, from the Arab League, Palestinian administrations and elsewhere suggest that in some form, often with caveats, 126 UN member states already grant formal diplomatic recognition of a Palestinian state. Iceland becomes the 127th.

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