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Report: Slovenia to become second EU state to recognize Palestine

Slovenia is preparing to recognize Palestine as an independent state in February | Joi Ito

Slovenia is preparing to recognize Palestine as an independent state in February, Slovenian Delo newspaper reported the news.

Citing the country's foreign minister Karl Erjavec, the local newspaper stated that the small Balkan country, and upon recognizing Palestine, would become only the second EU member to follow Sweden’s lead.

According to the source, discussions on the recognition of the Palestinian State are not only taking place only in Slovenia, but also in in Portugal, Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg.

“The relocation of the US embassy means a move away from the two-state solution," the source quoted Erjavec as saying.

Slovenia was among 128 countries that voted on December 21 for a UN resolution that rejected Trump's controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the state of the Israeli regime.

These countries called on the US to withdraw the decision. Israel, however, rejected the world body’s resolution while thanking Trump for his decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Referring to Trump’s contentious decision, Erjavec added "I think now is the right time for additional support for Palestine."

In a televised speech after Trump's announcement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Jerusalem is the "eternal capital of the State of Palestine."

Abbas added that the US president's speech was “tantamount to the United States abdicating its role as a peace mediator."

Jerusalem remains at the core of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict since 1967, with Palestinians hoping that the eastern part of the city would eventually serve as the capital of a future independent Palestinian state.