A joint plan to recognize a Palestinian state will be discussed during a meeting today between the new Irish Prime Minister, Simon Harris, and the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez.

Pedro Sanchez, who is expected in Dublin today, is the first foreign prime minister Simon Harris will meet after taking office.

In the months since the 7 October Hamas attacks and Israel’s assault on Gaza, Spain and Ireland have emerged as the EU’s most pro-Palestinian member states.

On Thursday in Brussels, Harris said he made clear Ireland’s position on the need for an immediate ceasefire during a meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. He also reiterated his formal request, made with Spain two months ago, to revise the Israel-EU association agreement.

“I believe that the European Union must use all the levers at its disposal in order to protect the Palestinian people,” Harris said.

His comments came after he was heavily criticized by Israel for failing to mention the hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza during his first speech to the Irish Parliament.

Harris – who was sworn in on Tuesday – spoke of “unforgivable acts of terrorism by Hamas on October 7” as well as “a disproportionate response by the Israeli government”.

But Israel’s foreign ministry, in a statement issued Thursday, criticized him for failing to mention the hostages held by Hamas.