Barbados formally recognizes Palestine as a Sovereign State

Barbados Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kerrie Symmonds announced following the media launch to highlight the activities for the 166th Regular Session of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Symmonds announced that Cabinet had “decided that the time is right for us to have formal diplomatic recognition of the State of Palestine.”

Kerrie Symmonds

He emphasized, however, that recognizing Palestine as a state has no bearing on Barbados’ relationship with Israel.

“Since August 29, 1967, Barbados has formally recognized the State of Israel, and the two countries’ relationship has been excellent. We have benefited greatly from technical cooperation with the State of Israel in various areas, not the least of which is our efforts in food security and agriculture, as well as assisting us with the increasing drought and water-related challenges that we have faced,” Minister Symmonds stated.

According to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Barbados has always advocated for a two-state solution in the United Nations.

“But, ironically, despite saying to the world that we want a two-state solution, Barbados has never recognised the State of Palestine.” As a result, there is a paradox and contradiction because ‘how can we say we desire a two-state solution if we do not accept Palestine as a state’?

Barbados and Palestine flags

“So, I have taken the necessary paper to Cabinet to allow us to publicly identify and fix an error we believe we have made over the years. And today, we have publicly contacted the State of Palestine to express our desire to acknowledge them as a state formally,” Mr. Symmonds stated.

He said that Barbados held formal conversations with the State of Palestine in September last year, before the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas Gaza Strip conflict.

“So, that was before that event. But I’d like to state unequivocally that Barbados, together with CARICOM, has conveyed its unwavering disappointment and discontent with the humanitarian issue and the disproportionality of Israel’s response. We believe this has gone too far. As a result, we join the countries that have already called for a de-escalation of the conflict.

“I want to urge that reason resumes its seat, a clear headedness and a coolheadedness prevail, and that better judgement and use of good discretion be relied upon to stabilise and ratchet down the tensions in that part of the world,” said the minister of foreign affairs.