During an official visit to the region, the Icelandic Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated his country’s support for a Palestinian state, and offered some advice on how that could happen.
Össur Skarphéðinsson, in a visit to Cairo to meet with Assistant Arab League Secretary General for Palestine Affairs, ambassador Mohammad Sbeih, spoke briefly with reporters to discuss Palestine. As the Jordan News Agency reports:
The Icelandic minister said his country supports recognition of a Palestinian state “particularly in view of expected changes in this regard in the future.” He also emphasised Palestinian unity, urging Fatah and Hamas factions to forge a better relationship to implement a recently-signed reconciliation deal and move ahead to form a new Palestinian government capable of facing up to challenges.
Skarphedinsson called for lifting Israel’s crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip and easing the plight of Palestinian civilians, adding that he would soon visit the Palestinian territory “to hear from Palestinian officials how his country could support the Palestinian people.” Sbeih said he discussed with the Icelandic minister the forthcoming move by the Arabs and Palestinians to go to the United Nations to ask for full membership of a Palestinian state in the world body.
He said the Arab League is trying to muster support for recognition of a Palestinian state as a full U.N. member, stressing that the world community should recognise a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
Össur is on his way to the Gaza Strip to visit the region. He is a staunch supporter of Palestinian independence, and last September slammed Israel for an attack on an aid flotilla bound for Gaza.