Sweden to Officially Recognize the State of Palestine

Sweden to Officially Recognize the State of Palestine

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Friday that the new center-left government will recognize the state of Palestine. This move will make Sweden the first major European country to take the step.

The European Union and most EU countries have not officially recognized the sovereign state of Palestine despite the fact that the U.N. General Assembly approved the recognition.

Lofven said during his inaugural address in parliament the following:

“The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law.”

He added that “a two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognise the state of Palestine.”

This move will likely be criticized from Israel, the United States and the EU as they see that an independent Palestinian state should only emerge through a negotiated process. Washington already reacted calling Stockholm’s recognition “premature.” Palestinians, on the other hand, cheered the decision as “courageous” and urged the rest of the European Union to follow suit.

Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have recognized Palestine in the past before joining the EU. If Sweden fulfills its plan, it would be the first country to recognize Palestine while being a member of the EU.

The state of Palestine is also recognized by Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Malta, Iceland and Romania.

According to AFP, at least 112 countries worldwide have recognized Palestine as a sovereign state.

The Moroccan Times.