Sweden partially backtracks on Palestinian statehood recognition

New Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. Credit: Frankie Fouganthin via Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) Days after new Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s controversial declaration that his country would recognize a Palestinian state, Swedish Ambassador to Israel Carl Magnus Nesser said in a statement that there had been a misunderstanding and that such recognition would only follow extensive peace talks, rather than unilateral Palestinian actions.

In his inaugural address Friday, Lofven had said Sweden was set to recognize “Palestine” as a state, becoming the first European Union (EU) member to do so. He said that “the conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law.”

Lofven later clarified that he was referring to future, rather than immediate, recognition of a Palestinian state.

While several European countries such as Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Romania have already recognized Palestinian statehood, they did so before becoming EU members. 

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Lofven “rushed to make declarations” regarding Palestinian statehood, likely before he took the time to “understand that the side that has been the obstacle for the past 20 years to reaching an agreement has been the Palestinians.”

Posted on October 6, 2014 .