Swedish PM: We will recognize ‘State of Palestine’

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — Sweden will recognize the state of Palestine, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict “can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law,” Lofven said during his inaugural address in parliament on Friday. “A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful coexistence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine.”

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In an election last month, Lofven’s center-left Social Democrats party took 31.2 percent of the vote. Lofven formed a coalition with Sweden’s Green Party. He did not say when Sweden would recognize Palestinian statehood.

The former center-right government had said it did not recognize Palestine because the Palestinian authorities did not control their territory, according to Reuters.

Sweden already voted in 2012 in favor of upgrading the status of the Palestinian Authority at the United Nations General Assembly to that of a “non-member observer state.” The upgrade passed thanks to an overwhelming majority, but the European Union has not collectively endorsed the upgrade. Several of its members abstained and one, the Czech Republic, voted against the upgrade.

The European Union’s position on Palestinian statehood is that a future Palestinian state “will require secure and recognised borders” which should be reached through negotiations between Israel and and the Palestinians.

Several European countries, including Sweden, upgraded the status of the Palestinian Authority missions operating in their territories after the 2012 U.N. upgrade.