(MENAFN- Asia Times) The US and UK governments have indicated they are considering recognizing Palestine as a state after the current conflict ends.
On a visit to Lebanon on February 1, the UK foreign secretary, David Cameron, said this would be impossible while Hamas remained in control in Gaza, but that giving Palestinians the prospect of statehood would be“absolutely vital for the long-term peace and security of the region.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, meanwhile, told US media site Axios that he had commissioned the State Department to review potential options for US and international recognition of a Palestinian state. Previously, US policy towards Palestinian statehood had been that this was a matter for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
International recognition would usher in a new phase for the realization of Palestinian statehood. The legal framework for addressing the situation would expand to include more international bodies dealing with international human rights and accountability.
The first thing to stress is that recognition and statehood are two separate issues. Under international law, states conduct foreign relations on the basis of bilateral and multilateral recognition of each other's statehood as sovereign countries. This recognition also forms the basis for how states behave and imposes various legally binding obligations and duties under international conventions.
Palestine has been recognized as an independent state by 139 of 193 UN members . But, crucially, the US, UK and other G7 countries including Germany, Italy and France, have not.
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