Sweden To Recognize Palestinian State
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said Friday his new center-left government would recognize Palestine, making his country the first major European nation to take that step.
"A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine," Lofven said during his inaugural address in Parliament.
He did not say when such a move would occur, however. Lofven's Social Democrats and their allies in the Greens hold a minority of seats in Parliament.
The move would place Sweden along with more than 100 other countries that recognize a Palestinian state. But most Western nations still don't recognize Palestine. EU member states — such as Hungary and Poland — that do recognize a Palestinian state did so before they joined the bloc.
"For the Palestinians, Sweden's move will be a welcome boost for its ambitions. "With its reputation as an honest broker in international affairs and with an influential voice in EU foreign policy, the decision may well make other countries sit up and pay attention at a time when the Palestinians are threatening unilateral moves towards statehood. "However, there is likely to be strong criticism of Sweden from Israel, as well as from the United States and the EU, which maintain that an independent Palestinian state should only emerge through a negotiated process."
In 2012, the Palestinians became a "nonmember observer state" at the U.N. following a General Assembly vote.
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