Sweden to Recognize Palestinian State: PM

Sweden to Recognize Palestinian State: PM
Fri Oct 3, 2014 21:33:12

Sweden will recognize a new Palestinian state, the Nordic country's new Prime Minister Stefan Loefven said Friday in his inaugural address to parliament.

Sweden's new foreign minister Margot Wallstroem told public broadcaster SR that Sweden was "in good company since 130 countries in the world have already done the same."

According to an AFP count, at least 112 countries around the world have recognized a Palestinian state.
A Palestinian count puts the number at 134.

Iceland is so far the only western European nation among them.

Among EU members, countries that have recognized a Palestinian state include Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Romania.

Loefven's Social Democratic-Green Party coalition which formed a minority government on Friday is more supportive of demands for a Palestinian state than the previous Centre-right administration.

The Social Democrats, the largest party in the Swedish parliament, wrote in their election manifesto that "Israel's war crimes must be investigated and the occupation of Gaza lifted".

The party added that "Sweden and the rest of the world must actively support its Palestine's work towards reconciliation".

The prime minister did not specify whether the policy would be submitted to a vote in parliament.

Sweden's foreign ministry declined comment when asked by AFP if parliamentary approval was necessary.

The Palestinian envoy to Sweden, Hala Husni Fariz, said in a statement that the decision "reflects the historical support of the Swedish government for freedom, dignity and human rights."

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


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