Germany, Portugal say time not ripe to recognise Palestinian state

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) and Portuguese Prime Minister Luis Montenegro address a joint press conference after talks at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany on 24 May, 2024AFP

The leaders of Germany and Portugal said Friday the time was not ripe to recognise a Palestinian state, after three other European nations announced plans to do so.

“We have no reason to recognise the Palestinian Authority as a separate state now,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz told a press conference after talks with Portuguese Prime Minister Luis Montenegro.

“There is no clarity about the territory of the state and other questions related to it,” he said.

“What we need is a negotiated solution between Israel and the Palestinians that amounts to a two-state solution... but we are still a long way from there,” he said.

“Symbolic recognition of statehood does not bring us further” towards the goal, he added.

Speaking at the same press conference, Montenegro said Portugal was also “not in the position to” recognise a Palestinian state.

“We are waiting for the (related) issues to be further discussed within the European Union,” he added.

Ireland, Norway and Spain on Wednesday announced they intended to recognise the State of Palestinian next week.

The announcement drew fury from Israel, which warned of “serious consequences” for ties with the European nations.

For decades, formal recognition of a Palestinian state has been seen as the end goal of a peace process between Palestinians and Israel.

The United States and most western European nations have said they are willing to one day recognise Palestinian statehood, but not before agreement is reached on thorny issues like final borders and the status of Jerusalem.