Ed Miliband has instructed Labour MPs to back a vote in parliament that would call on the government to “unilaterally recognise” Palestine as a state.
Although such a vote would only be a symbolic backing for statehood, Mr Miliband’s call comes less than a fortnight after Sweden’s newly-elected government stated its intention to officially recognise the territories – the first major EU state to do so.
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Many countries in the EU – along with the likes of the United States, Japan and Australia – do not recognise Palestine, but here is a map of all the countries that do:
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British backing of Palestinian statehood could have “profound international implications” with Israel always maintaining that recognition should only follow a negotiated agreement between both sides. David Cameron is expected to abstain from voting.
Recognition has been a long-standing ambition of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since Yasser Arafat proclaimed a declaration of independence in 1988.
In 2012, the United Nations approved the de facto recognition of a Palestinian state – there were 138 votes in favour, nine against and 41 abstentions.
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