NEW YORK (JTA) — Iceland’s parliament voted to recognize an independent state of Palestine.
The motion, which passed Tuesday, paves the way for Iceland to become the first Western European nation to recognize a Palestinian state. In December, several South American nations recognized Palestine, including Brazil, Venezuela and Bolivia.
"Iceland is the first Western European country to take this step," Foreign Minister Ossur Skarphedinsson told Icelandic state broadcaster RUV, according to news reports. "I now have the formal authority to declare our recognition of Palestine."
Tuesday’s motion, which also called for a peaceful resolution of the conflict on the basis of mutual recognition of Israel and a Palestinian state, came on the 64th anniversary of the U.N. vote to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.