02 November, 2013

Map: Palestine Recognized by Two More Countries (134/193)

Map of countries that recognize the State of Palestine as an independent country, updated for November 2013 with recent additions Haiti and South Sudan highlighted
Countries recognizing the State of Palestine in green, with most recent additions highlighted. Palestine in magenta (circled). Click to enlarge. Map by Evan Centanni, modified from public domain graphic (source).
By Evan Centanni

List Grows By Two
After being recognized as an Observer State by the U.N. last year to the protest of Israel, the U.S., and other Western countries, the State of Palestine is slowly continuing to receive diplomatic recognition from individual U.N. members. Last May we reported that 132 U.N. member states had officially recognized Palestine, and now the list has grown to 134 (69% of the world body's total membership). Palestine is also recognized by the proclaimed government of disputed Western Sahara, which is not a member of the U.N.

Flag of Palestine Country Name:  
• Palestine (English)
Filasṭīn (Arabic)
Official Name:  
• State of Palestine (English)
• Dawlat Filasṭin (Arabic)
• Jerusalem (claimed)
Ramallah (administrative)
New Recognition
The most recent country to recognize Palestine as independent is the Caribbean nation of Haiti, which did so near the end of this past September. An official ceremony was held for Haiti's recognition at U.N. headquarters in New York, in which both Haiti and Caribbean neighbor Grenada signed agreements to establish diplomatic relations with the State of Palestine. However, Grenada has already been on the list for some time, offering its recognition a full two years ago according to the official website of Palestine's U.N. delegation.

One More Country: Mystery Solved
As discussed in our previous Palestine recognition article, since last year the number of recognitions claimed by Palestine's U.N. mission has been higher by one than the total number actually documented by observers. However, the confusion has now been cleared up by the publication of an official list on the delegation's website.

This list includes one more country than previous third-party lists, recording newly independent country South Sudan as having offered its recognition on July 14, 2011, on the same day that it joined the U.N. In retrospect, this should come as no surprise, since South Sudan firmly supported Palestine's 2011 bid for U.N. membership, and apparently did actually announce that it would grant diplomatic recognition (though that statement occurred later than the date now claimed by Palestine).

Related Articles:
Palestine Recognized as a Country by the U.N.
Is Palestine Really a Country?
Map of Countries Recognizing Kosovo


  1. What would be really useful as well as more balanced and fair would be to add side by side the number of countries that recognize Israel (159 by my count) and "Palestine". Contrary to you, I don't believe that "Palestine" meets the criteria specified by the Montevideo Convention to describe a functional state, not to mention the fact that only the Security Council can recognize it as such for it to become a member of the UN. Its pseudo-recognition by the General Assembly, which is outside of its responsibilities, and is therefore a political joke of convenience. And let's not forget that a) "Palestine" doesn't have a legal head of state since Abbas has been postponing elections due 5 years ago, making himself illegitimate, and b) Hamas is even worse since it has shunned elections since 2007 when it seized power in an illegitimate coup after killing 350 Fatah people). And yet both claim to be the only representatives of the Palestinians (when they're not busy killing each other). I can't think of a more dysfunctional and surreal "State" than this dual monster made of a terrorist organization on one side (Hamas), and a kleptocracy on the other (Fatah). And this is what the world wants to recognize as the State of "Palestine". Forgive me laughing out loud.

    1. Thank you for your criticisms. Political Geography Now does not take a position on how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be resolved. Have you read our article Is Palestine Really a Country? We go into a considerable amount of detail there on why Palestine could be considered to meet the statehood criteria from the Montevideo Convention.

      The number of countries recognizing Israel is also a very interesting topic which I do hope to cover in the future. I think many readers may be surprised to hear that the number is only about 159, since most U.N. member states have full recognition from all other countries in the body.

      The General Assembly's recognition of Observer States has not been taken as a joke in the case of Vatican City, which is included on most offcial lists of the world's countries despite not being a U.N. member.

      Having a democratically legitimate head of state is certainly not a requirement for being considered a state. Otherwise probably at a third of U.N. members would be ineligible. Nor does being divided between warring parties normally preclude statehood. You said you can't think of a more dysfunctional and surreal proclaimed state, but I can think of many. Somalia and Syria would be a good place to start if you're unfamiliar with the issue.

      In any case, this article on recognition does not presume de facto Palestinian statehood. "State of Palestine" is the name used by the entity claiming statehood and by the parties recognizing it as sovereign, and that is all this particular article is intended to convey.

  2. Oh bore off jjs110

  3. At the vote regarding the status of the Palestinian state at the UN- which ended with it's recognition as a "non - member observer state", the Czech Republic voted along with 8 other members against the recognition. But according to you the Czech Republic recognizes Palestine. Is there an explanation? Thanks!

    1. Good question! As a matter of policy, the current elected government of the Czech Republic does not consider Palestine to be a state. However, my understanding is that the country's past recognition of the State of Palestine remains legally in effect.

  4. Thanks, keep on posting, love it!