Sweden recognizes the State of Palestine, however states that relations with Israel will be ongoing
The Swedish government has officially recognized “Palestine” as a state Thursday.
Following the inauguration of Sweden’s new government last month, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven stated that the new government’s foreign policy would recognize the “State of Palestine”.
On Monday Lofven stated that recognition of “Palestine” would occur in the near future, stating in October “Today’s recognition is a contribution to a better future for a region that has for too long been characterized by frozen negotiations, destruction and frustration… Some will state this decision comes too soon. I am afraid, rather, that it is too late.”
Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallström however stated earlier this week that the recognition of Palestine would not occur until diplomatic conversations were to occur with Israel prior. She then stated in Stockholm on Thursday that “There is a territory, a people and government” in defense of the government’s recognition. She stated that Sweden’s “excellent cooperation with Israel would continue” and a decision would be met in Jerusalem “in a constructive way.”
Following Britain’s announcement it would recognize a Palestinian state, France followed shortly after. Malta and Cyprus have officially recognized “Palestine” as a state.
According to reports, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg also has stated that Norway would recognize Palestine as a state, but not before a peace agreement is made with Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israeli diplomats have expressed concern to the EU and United Nations on the importance of a two-state solution to occur through unilateral talks between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Major obstacles deter peace negotiations due to the Palestinian Authority’s unity government between Fatah and Hamas. Hamas openly calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and refuses to enter direct negotiations with Israel.