Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Spain’s ruling Popular Party rejected unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood and insisted that recognition could only come through peace talks with Israel.

“The recognition of a Palestinian state should be promoted in a coordinated manner within the EU, in the framework of a final settlement in the Middle East,” Alfonso Alonso, spokesman for the Popular Party, said in a statement, Spain’s Caracol Radio reported.

The statement came just hours before Spain’s parliament was to vote on a non-binding motion that would “recognize Palestine as a state.” The resolution was put forward by the opposition Socialist Workers’ Party last month.

The center-right Popular Party, led by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, controls 184 seats in Spain’s Congress of Deputies, while the Socialist Workers’ Party controls 110.

The motion in Spain follows a growing debate in Europe over recognizing Palestinian statehood. Sweden recently became the first European Union member to officially recognize “Palestine.” The British Parliament as well as Ireland also approved such recognition in non-binding votes, and similar proposals have been put forth in France.

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