Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar joined the heads of three other European countries today, March 24, in again calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and indicating their readiness to recognize Palestine when "the circumstances are right."

"We, the Prime Ministers of Ireland, Malta, Slovenia and Spain, met in the margins of the European Council to share views on the situation in Gaza and the Middle East," Varadkar said in a joint statement with Robert Abela (Prime Minister of Malta), Robert Golob (Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia), and Pedro Sánchez (President of the Government of Spain).

"We welcome the conclusions adopted by the European Council yesterday.

"We are agreed on the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire, the unconditional release of hostages and a rapid, massive and sustained increase of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

"We are agreed that the only way to achieve lasting peace and stability in the region is through implementation of a two-state solution, with Israeli and Palestinian States living side-by-side, in peace and security.

"We discussed together our readiness to recognise Palestine and said that we would do so when it can make a positive contribution and the circumstances are right."

According to RTÉ, the Palestinian ambassador to Ireland Dr. Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid welcomed Friday's joint statement, describing it as "promising news."

Friday's statement was issued two days after Varadkar, in a surprise move, announced his resignation as Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael

In December, Varadkar joined leaders from Spain, Belgium, and Malta in a letter to Charles Michel, President of the European Council, calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

Friday's statement also comes just days after Varadkar told US President Joe Biden in Washington, DC: "The people of Gaza desperately need food, medicine, and shelter. And most especially, they need the bombs to stop. This has to stop, on both sides, the hostages brought home, and humanitarian relief allowed in."

Last Friday during a bilateral meeting at The White House, Biden agreed with Varadkar when the Taoiseach said he wants to see a ceasefire in Gaza.

Varadkar told Biden: "You'll know, my view [is] that we need to have a ceasefire as soon as possible to get food and medicine in ..."

Biden interjected: "I agree."

Varadkar continued: "...and to get hostages out.

"We need to talk about how we can make that happen and move toward a two-state solution, which I think is the only way we will have lasting peace and security."

Varadkar had been facing calls to boycott the annual St. Patrick's Day visit to Washington, DC in light of the US response to the war in Gaza, but said a boycott would be a "big mistake."

Elsewhere on Friday, a draft resolution tabled by the US was vetoed in the UN Security Council by Russia and China.

The draft stated the "imperative" for “an immediate and sustained ceasefire to protect civilians on all sides," facilitating “essential” aid delivery and supporting ongoing talks between Israel and Hamas militants to create a sustainable end to the hostilities, tied to the release of hostages.