Denmark–Palestine relations

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Denmark-Palestine relations
Map indicating locations of Denmark and Palestine



Denmark–Palestine relations refers to the contacts between Denmark and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Denmark has a representative office in Ramallah.[1] The State of Palestine has a semi diplomatic Mission with the rank of ambassador in Copenhagen.[2] However, Denmark has not recognized Palestine existence and rights to sovereignty, therefore prohibiting actual relations and has somewhat antagonized the Palestinian Authority at times.

Recognition of the State of Palestine[edit]

On 29 November 1947, Denmark voted for the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, supporting the division of Palestine into two states.[3] In December 2010, the Palestinian National Authority asked Denmark to recognize the state with its 1967 borders.[4] In January 2011, Denmark with Norway said that they will soon recognize the State of Palestine,[5] and on 9 March, Mahmoud Abbas visited Denmark for the first time, to discuss bilateral relations between Denmark and Palestine. During the visit, Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen stated that Denmark was not considering recognizing the State of Palestine.[6] On 29 May, the Social Democrats revealed that if they win the next parliamentary election, they will recognize the State of Palestine.[7][8] In August, it was still unknown if Denmark would vote no or yes for an Independent Palestinian state in the United Nations.[9]

On 15 September 2011, the Social Democrats won the 2011 Danish elections, and expressed support for the Palestinian membership in the UN, but waited for a joint decision in the European Union.[10] On 22 September 2012, hundreds of Danes demonstrated in front of the Folketing. The Palestinian ambassador to Denmark said: "This recognition will enhance Danish-Arab relations and will reflect support of the Danish people for the Palestinian bid to UN". [sic][11] In October 2012, Denmark abstained from voting in the resolution for Palestine in the UNESCO.[12]

The Danish Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) is a supporter of an independent Palestinian state,[13] but no other party represented in the Folketing has Danish recognition of Palestine as its party line.

Danish development assistance[edit]

Denmark provides assistance to the occupied Palestinian Territories in the following three ways.[14]

  • Denmark continues to participate in the peace process, promoting the Roadmap for Peace among other initiatives. The PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department is on such peace building initiative which Denmark supports.[14]
  • Denmark supports the creation of a sovereign, democratic, and peaceful Palestinian state. Denmark currently supports organizations which are bringing about the preconditions for these ideals, such as fighting corruption, increasing human rights, and ensuring free and fair elections.[14]
  • Denmark seeks to improve the living conditions in Palestine through supporting private sector development. Denmark is currently supporting smaller local councils in the Jenin area through amalgamation and capacity building. An increase in economic integration between the West Bank and Israel is also a goal of the Danish.[14]
  • In May 2017, the Palestinian Authority via its organisation Women's Affairs Technical Committee (WATC) named a women's center in the town of Burqa after Mughrabi and celebrated her as a role model.[15] The center was built with the aid of the government of Norway and UN Women. The United Nations condemned the naming as "glorification of terrorism" and demanded its logo be removed from the building.[16] The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs started its own investigations of WATC and found it had withheld central information about the naming of the centre and terminated the working relationship with WATC. As a result of the findings, the danish ministry also ceased its funding of 23 other NGOs in Palestine as of 1 January 2018.[15][17]

Palestinians in Denmark[edit]

In the 1980s, During the Lebanese Civil War, 19,000 Palestinian refugees fled to Denmark. 1000 of them were from Lubya.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Government of Denmark. "Danish Representative Office in Ramallah, Palestine". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Denmark). Archived from the original on 27 January 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  2. ^ Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations (10 December 2010). "Palestine Embassies, Missions, Delegations Abroad". United Nations. Archived from the original on 25 February 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  3. ^ "After five happy years, the diplomat gymnast has got to split". Copenhagen Post. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  4. ^ Staff writer (16 December 2010). "Palestinians turn to Europe for statehood recognition". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  5. ^ Tue Magnussen (19 January 2011). "Denmark bør snarest anerkende Palæstina". Ulandsnyt (in Danish). Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  6. ^ T (9 March 2011). "Espersen mødes med Abbas". Ulandsnyt (in Danish). Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  7. ^ "Denmark to recognize Palestine if Social Democrats win polls". NOW Lebanon. 19 May 2011. Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  8. ^ "New govt. would recognise Palestinian state". Politiken. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  9. ^ "Mange spørgsmål før Palæstina-afstemning". 16 August 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Rød regering støtter Palæstinas FN-krav". Dagbladet Information. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Demonstration in Denmark in Support of UN Bid". WAFA; Palestine News & Info Agency. 22 September 2011. Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  12. ^ "UNESCO vote to admit Palestine: how the countries voted". UN Watch. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  13. ^ "Enhedslisten modtager pris fra palæstinensisk præsident" (in Danish). 6 June 2007. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  14. ^ a b c d Government of Denmark. "Danish Development Assistance to the Occupied Palestinian Territory". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Denmark). Archived from the original on 27 January 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  15. ^ a b "Danmark strammer betingelserne for bistand til palæstinenserne". (in Danish). 2017-12-22. Retrieved 2017-12-28.
  16. ^ Wootliff, Raoul (2017-05-28). "UN chief's office slams 'glorification of terrorism' at Palestinian women's center". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  17. ^ Udenrigsministeriet. "Udenrigsminister Anders Samuelsen strammer betingelser for dansk bistand til NGO'er i Palæstina efter undersøgelse". Udenrigsministeriet (in Danish). Retrieved 2017-12-28.
  18. ^ "Palestinian Refugees". Danish Immigration Museum (in Danish). Danish Immigration Museum. Retrieved 17 February 2011.