Palestinian PM Visits Madrid After Spain, Norway and Ireland Recognize Palestinian State 

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez poses with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa, Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Türkiye’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha pose for a photo at Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, May 29, 2024. (Reuters)
Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez poses with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa, Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Türkiye’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha pose for a photo at Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, May 29, 2024. (Reuters)
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Palestinian PM Visits Madrid After Spain, Norway and Ireland Recognize Palestinian State 

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez poses with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa, Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Türkiye’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha pose for a photo at Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, May 29, 2024. (Reuters)
Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez poses with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa, Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Türkiye’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha pose for a photo at Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, May 29, 2024. (Reuters)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa and leading officials from several Middle Eastern countries in Madrid on Wednesday after Spain, Ireland and Norway recognized a Palestinian state.

The diplomatic move by the three western European nations on Tuesday was slammed by Israel and will have little immediate impact on its grinding war in Gaza, but it was a victory for the Palestinians and could encourage other Western powers to follow suit.

Mustafa was joined by Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, and the foreign ministers for Türkiye and Jordan, members of the group called the Foreign Ministerial Committee of Arabic and Islamic countries for Gaza. They also met with Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares.

More than 140 countries recognize a Palestinian state — more than two-thirds of the United Nations.

With Spain and Ireland, there are now nine members of the 27-nation European Union that officially recognize a Palestinian state. Norway is not an EU member but its foreign policy is usually aligned with the bloc.

Slovenia, an EU member, will decide on the recognition of a Palestinian state on Thursday and forward its decision to parliament for final approval.

The move to recognize a Palestinian state has caused relations between the EU and Israel to nosedive. Madrid and Dublin are pushing for the EU to take measures against Israel for its continued attacks on southern Gaza’s city of Rafah.

The decision by Spain, Ireland and Norway comes more than seven months into an assault waged by Israel following the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack in which fighters stormed across the Gaza border into Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking about 250 hostage.

Israel’s air and land attacks have since killed 36,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which doesn’t distinguish between combatants and civilians.



US Invites Sudan's Warring Parties for Talks

FILE PHOTO: A view of a street in the city of Omdurman damaged in the year-long civil war in Sudan, April 7, 2024. REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A view of a street in the city of Omdurman damaged in the year-long civil war in Sudan, April 7, 2024. REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig/File Photo
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US Invites Sudan's Warring Parties for Talks

FILE PHOTO: A view of a street in the city of Omdurman damaged in the year-long civil war in Sudan, April 7, 2024. REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A view of a street in the city of Omdurman damaged in the year-long civil war in Sudan, April 7, 2024. REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig/File Photo

Washington has invited the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces for US-mediated ceasefire talks starting on Aug. 14 in Switzerland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday.

RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo said early on Wednesday they will constructively participate in the talks to achieve "a comprehensive ceasefire across the country and facilitate humanitarian access to all those in need."
"We reaffirm our firm stance ... which is the insistence on saving lives, stopping the fighting, and paving the way for a peaceful, negotiated political solution that restores the country to civilian rule and the path of democratic transition," Dagalo said in a statement.

The talks will include the African Union, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations as observers, Blinken said in a statement. Saudi Arabia will be a co-host for the discussions, he added.

"The scale of death, suffering, and destruction in Sudan is devastating. This senseless conflict must end," Blinken said, calling on the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the RSF to attend the talks and approach them constructively.

The war in Sudan, which erupted in April 2023, has forced almost 10 million people from their homes, sparked warnings of famine and waves of ethnically-driven violence.