SINGAPORE, July 2 — Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan said today that any support for a Palestinian state would be predicated on it accepting Israel’s right to exist.

CNA reported Balakrishnan’s remarks in Parliament on the conditions for Singapore to recognise a Palestinian state today. He said that Singapore is “prepared in principle” to recognise Palestine as a state but only if it accepts Israel’s right to exist and renounces terrorism.

The minister’s responses were in answer to members of Parliament, who had raised five questions concerning Palestine and how Singapore would give aid, if any, to Palestine’s reconstruction.

He said, "In particular, there will need to be an effective Palestinian government that accepts Israel’s right to exist and categorically rejects terrorism.”

Balakrishnan argued “both sides have legitimate rights” and that they also both “have a right to live in peace and dignity within secure borders.”

Balakrishnan did note, however that in May this year, Singapore had voted in favour of a United Nations (UN) resolution supporting Palestine’s membership in the body.

It was a decision, he said, that is in line with Singapore’s support for the principle of international law and that it reflected the country’s hope to encourage both Israel and Palestine to resume direct negotiations towards a two-state solution.

Balakrishnan said that the suffering in the current war “has gone on for far too long and urged both parties to take steps towards lon-lasting peace.

He called the two-state solution the “only viable path” towards an end to the current conflict, one that Singapore has consistently advocated for.

“As Singapore is a friend to both, Singapore will continue to offer our encouragement and our tangible support,” said the minister.

As to questions of aid, Balakrishnan said that Singapore will continue to utilise the S$10 million Enhanced Technical Assistance Package to assist the Palestinian Authority prepare for eventual statehood.

Singapore will host Palestine officials in the country from July 8 to July 12 for a study visit concerning the use of artificial intelligence in the public service.

13 Palestinian officials have also been granted postgraduate scholarships for study at the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University.

Balakrishnan said the current focus is on securing an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza and the immediate release of all hostage.

Once that is secured, he said “We stand ready to contribute, taking into account Gaza’s needs and an account of our own resources and expertise, but clearly all this can only take effect when the fighting ceases.”