Sweden to recognize Palestine as a state
Sweden is set to become the first EU country to recognize Palestine as a state, according to Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.

Sweden’s newly elected center-left government is set to recognize Palestine as a state, it was announced by Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in parliament on Friday, a move which will make it the first long-term EU country to do so.

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

''A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful coexistence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine,'' he added.

The decision comes less than a month after the Social Democrats won the Swedish parliamentary elections in alliance with the Greens and the Left Party on September 14. However, holding minority seats in the parliament could cause the center-left government to be the weakest in decades.

Countries such as Hungary, Poland and Slovakia also recognize Palestine as a state; however they did so before joining the European Union.

Although the UN General Assembly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine in 2012, the European Union has not given official recognition.

On Thursday, the EU condemned Israeli plans to build 2,610 settlements in Givat Hamatos located in southeast Jerusalem.

''This represents a further highly detrimental step that undermines prospects for a two-state solution and calls into question Israel’s commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians,'' the European Union External Action said in a statement released Thursday.

Last Modified: 2014-10-04 07:04:18
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