Israel Warns Slovenia on Recognising Palestine

By , 30 Jan 2018, 15:10 PM Politics
Ambassador Eyal Sela, seen here in 2011 while posted in Ecuador Ambassador Eyal Sela, seen here in 2011 while posted in Ecuador Wikimedia

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National Assembly will debate the issue on Wednesday. 

The STA reports January 30, 2018, that the- Israeli Ambassador to Slovenia, Eyal Sela, pointed to the negative consequences that a possible recognition of the Palestinian state could have for Slovenia as he met Speaker Milan Brglez and the chair of the Foreign Policy Committee Jožef Horvat in Ljubljana on Tuesday, a day before the committee is to discuss the recognition.

Horvat told the press after the meeting he did not see the meeting with the ambassador as any kind of pressure, saying that Slovenia would make the decision on Palestine on its own.

He sees Sela's visit as a way to collect information, which is crucial in the decision making process.

Horvat would not reveal the contents of the talks held behind closed doors, but he did say that it would be good if all members of the Foreign Policy Committee met both Sela and the ambassador of Palestine.

Asked why now would be a good time for Slovenia to recognise Palestine, Horvat said he could not answer this. "That's a question for Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec, who is vehemently explaining to the Slovenian and apparently the European public that Slovenia will recognise Palestine alone if necessary."

Horvat assessed Erjavec's actions in this matter as solo action, noting that the country's foreign policy is directed by the National Assembly.

The government opened a debate on the recognition of Palestine in July 2015, then suspended it and re-opened it last December. The National Assembly has not been informed yet of the government's position, which Horvat sees as crucial for the committee's decisions.

This is why he could not say what tomorrow's session on the motion to recognise Palestine would bring. He said that the session would certainly start and that he would open discussion.

Usually, the government looks into the importance of recognition of a state and then proposes to the National Assembly a decree on the recognition. But this time, the proposal was filed by the deputy group of the opposition Left, he said.

Minister Erjavec said on Monday he expected the Foreign Policy Committee to suspend tomorrow's session. He then expects the committee to discuss and declare its position on a government proposal on the issue.

The National Assembly will then discuss the recognition based on the committee's proposal, and Erjavec expects the recognition to be pushed through "given the situation in the coalition".

Should the procedure go through, "we can expect the recognition of Palestine in March or April", he said.

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