Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer on Sept. 21 announced that his government has formally recognized the State of Palestine as an independent sovereign State.
The announcement comes against the backdrop of a proposed move by Palestine to submit a written application to Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon, which will then go to the Security Council to be examined and voted on, said an Antigua and Barbuda government statement issued in New York.
In a statement circulated to the members of the United Nations attending the General Assembly, Antigua and Barbuda said that the country’s recognition of Palestine as an independent sovereign state is “in keeping with its support for the aspirations of the Palestinian people and for the idea of a two-state solution that would allow the Palestinian people the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential in a sovereign and contiguous state.
“Antigua and Barbuda is of the view that recognition of the State of Palestine will contribute to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the creation of lasting peace and stability in the region,” it said.
“We are also of the view that recognition of the State of Palestine should not detract from the fact that many core issues of this conflict remain unresolved and must be negotiated, and that an outcome of those negotiations must be a viable Palestine and a secure Israel,” it added.
The statement said Antigua and Barbuda will continue to maintain that the ultimate resolution of the long-standing conflict should result in the existence of two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.
“The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that securer and recognized borders are established for both sides,” it said.
In order for the Palestinian request for membership of the United Nations, which will translate into it becoming an independent state, it would need the backing of nine out of 15 Security Council members, with no vetoes from the permanent members.
The United States has already indicated that it will veto any move by Palestine to become a member of the United Nations.
To date, five Caribbean Community (CARICOM)-member States – Belize, Guyana, Suriname, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda – have recognized Palestine.