News ID: 2818
Published: 0727 GMT October 05, 2014

Sweden rejects US criticism over recognition of Palestinian state

Sweden rejects US criticism over recognition of Palestinian state

Sweden Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom rejected US criticism over her country's decision to recognize a Palestinian state, saying "it is not the US that determines our policies".

The decision was warmly welcomed by the Palestinians but the United States, Israel's ally, said it was a step too soon.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, "We believe international recognition of a Palestinian state is premature."

The US reactions came after Sweden Social Democrat leader Lofven—who narrowly won last month's general election—said in his inaugural speech on Friday that his government wanted to bolster a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

No timeframe for the formal recognition of a Palestinian state has been announced. The decision does not need parliamentary approval to be enforced.

"A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and the will to co-exist peacefully," Lofven told parliament.

Israel summoned Sweden's ambassador in Tel Aviv over the Swedish government said it has decided to recognize the Palestinian state.

"Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that he regrets that the new prime minister was in a hurry to make statements on Sweden's position regarding recognition of a Palestinian state, apparently before he had time even to study the issue in depth," Lieberman's office quoted him as saying, in a statement issued late on Saturday.

Sweden voted in favor of Palestinian observer status at the United Nations in 2012, which was granted despite opposition from the United States and other countries.

Seven EU members in eastern Europe and the Mediterranean have already recognized a Palestinian state, namely Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Romania.

Non-EU member Iceland is the only other western European nation to have done so.

A Hasan Mon, 06 Oct 2014 02:23:22 GMT
comment Many thanks and Bravo to those free thinkers who are not swayed by the powerful America who acts and behaves always in a gladiatorial way
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