Israeli FM slams Swedish prime minister for vowing to recognize ‘Palestine’

Israeli FM slams Swedish prime minister for vowing to recognize ‘Palestine’

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Saturday night slammed the Swedish government's intention to recognize the state of "Palestine," and the Foreign Ministry announced it will summon Sweden's ambassador to protest the move, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Sweden's recently elected prime minister, Stefan Lofven, said Friday during his inaugural address in parliament that his government will recognize "Palestine," a move that would make it the first major European country to take the step.

"The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law," Lofven said during his address, in comments diplomatic sources in Jerusalem said were meant to give his constituents what they wanted to hear.

"A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence.

Sweden will therefore recognize the State of Palestine" he said.

Liberman issued a statement saying that, rather than dealing with Israel and the Palestinians during his inaugural speech, it would have been better for the Swedish premier to focus on more urgent matters in the Middle East, such as the daily mass murders in Syria, Iraq, and other countries in the region.

Liberman said further that Lofven needs to understand that neither declarations nor moves by "outside sources" would replace direct negotiations between the sides and bring closer a solution that would be part of a comprehensive agreement between Israel and the Arab world. He said he is sorry that Lofven "rushed" to make declarations about a "Palestinian state" before making the effort to study the issue and to understand that the Palestinians have been the obstacle preventing an Israel-Palestinian agreement for the last 20 years.

Lofven is the head of a center- left government that has come to power following general elections in September.

If Israel had a tough time with the Swedish government under its previous government, which was center-right, Lofven's statement is an indication that the relationship will now likely be even more difficult.

The former Swedish government refused to recognize "Palestine," as the Palestinians did not control the territory they claimed for statehood.

The UN General Assembly approved the de facto recognition of "the sovereign State of Palestine" in 2012, but the European Union and most EU countries have yet to give official recognition.

Diplomatic sources said they are not fearful that Lofven would begin a snowball affect in Europe, as the leader of a rather precarious center-left government is unlikely to set the standard for the rest of Europe.

The Social Democrats and Greens hold a minority of seats in parliament and the incoming center-left government is likely to be one of Sweden's weakest for decades.

Within the EU, some countries, such as Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia recognize "Palestine," but they did so before joining the 28-member bloc.

If the center-left government fulfills its plans, Sweden would be the first country to recognize "Palestine" while being a member of the European Union.

The EU's stated position is that an independent Palestinian state should only emerge through a negotiated process.

The PLO on Saturday welcomed Sweden's announcement.

"The Swedish announcement is in fact a sign of a genuine commitment to justice and the requirements for peace, including the two-state solution on the 1967 boundaries," said PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi.

"We hope that other countries in Europe will follow Sweden's lead. Those who claim to support the two-state solution must realize that in order to reach it, what's missing is a sovereign Palestinian state," she said.

According to the PLO, 138 countries recognize "Palestine" as a state, including Brazil, South Africa, Chile, Russia, the Holy See, Argentina, India, and China.

But it has failed to gain major recognition in the West, with the European Union and the US preferring the conflict resolved through negotiation.

"Conditioning recognition of the 'State of Palestine' on the outcome of negotiations with Israel is equivalent to making our right to self-determination an Israeli prerogative. This fails to address the very basis of the values upon which the United Nations was founded, including its responsibility to protect and act accordingly," Ashrawi said.

Gazprom reveals volume of gas imported by Georgia from Russia
Gazprom reveals volume of gas imported by Georgia from Russia
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on January 19
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on January 19
Uzbekistan plans to create wholesale electricity and gas market
Uzbekistan plans to create wholesale electricity and gas market
Loading Bars
Latest
France's daily new COVID-19 infections at a more than six-week high
UK figure of daily new coronavirus cases drops further
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister meets with delegation of the Turkic Council, TURKSOY and Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation
Spain eyes to support Georgia to further develop its tourism, infrastructure and energy fields
Sweden begins to administer second dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Canada to lift Boeing 737 MAX flight ban on January 20
CBI reacts to the German claim about INSTEX
Weekly review of Georgian capital markets (Jan.11 through Jan.15)
Trade balance between Azerbaijan and Turkey remains positive in 2020
Losses of JSC Georgian Railways increase
Kazakhstan boosts imports from Spain despite COVID-19 pandemic
Georgia makes investments in Kazakhstan's production of ferroalloys
Georgian FM meets Spanish officials in Madrid
Disneyland Paris delays reopening to April 2 due to COVID-19
Crime activity down in Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan discloses projects approved for financing within 'Almaty business-2025' program
Interior minister discloses number of crimes registered in Azerbaijan in 2020
Iran says won't accept new conditions within JCPOA
Azerbaijan names number of servicemen of Internal Troops of Interior Ministry who became martyrs
New memorandum between Azerbaijan and Turkey to be discussed
Azerbaijan shows footage from Alolar village of Kalbajar district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijan confirms 503 more COVID-19 recoveries
Gazprom reveals volume of gas imported by Georgia from Russia
Share of nuts, fruits, citrus peels in Azerbaijan's total export increases
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on January 19
Azerbaijan starts vaccination against coronavirus (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Turkish, Azerbaijani businessmen to carry out joint projects to revive Karabakh
Uzbekistan eyes increasing share of national currency in sovereign bonds
Roadmap for co-op on Lapis-Lazuli project signed
Azerbaijan's Central Bank to improve banking infrastructure in regions during 2021
Azerbaijan's SOCAR Polymer becomes largest importer in Russia
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price starts to fall
Georgia, Turkey discuss bilateral strategic partnership
Cargo turnover in Georgian ports decreases
Some statements by Armenian officials cause tension - Lavrov
Liberation of Azerbaijani territories forms new economic reality
Iran's Shazand Oil Refining Company opens tender to buy equipment
Volume of lending for Azerbaijani industrial and manufacturing sector increases
Investments in field railroad infrastructure between Turkmenistan, Spain can be implemented
Trilateral Statement on Karabakh has no secret clauses - Russian FM
Armenian side didn't provide lists of prisoners of war immediately and completely - Lavrov
Property appropriated by Georgian MFOs as payment of debts on loans down
Industrial enterprises put into operation in Iran's West Azerbaijan Province
Uzbekistan’s number of enterprises created in healthcare sector in 2020 revealed
Uzbekistan’s 2020 volume of remittances up
Uzbekistan plans to create wholesale electricity and gas market
Azerbaijan to be one of first countries to see COVID-19 pandemic's end - agency's chairman (PHOTO)
Preparatory work under completion in Azerbaijan’s Alley of Martyrs (PHOTO)
Significant number of currency exchange offices closes in Georgia
2021 begins with victories, says President of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's export of beverages nearly halves
CISCO eyes to apply smart lighting model in Baku
Let no-one think that they may have special privileges - President of Azerbaijan
War is over, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict consigned to history - President of Azerbaijan
Everything in liberated lands must be done in planned manner - President Aliyev
Main export-import data between Turkmenistan, Spain published
Amount of money saved in biotech field in Iran revealed
Air Arabia airline company returning to Georgian market
Restoration of the Karabakh region is high on my agenda - President of Azerbaijan
Industry, agriculture, non-oil sector, export opportunities, reduction of dependence on imports – all these factors created new reality today - President Aliyev
Azerbaijan's state agency talks current status of road construction to post-war Shusha (PHOTO)
Number of insignia awarded to Azerbaijan's transport workers in 2020 revealed
Kazakhstan decreases export of crude petroleum oils to Romania
Total speeds up renewables push with $2.5 billion investment in Indian solar power
Revenues of Georgian air navigation service provider down
Sale transactions in Georgia's real-estate sector may drop in Jan.-Feb. 2021
President Aliyev attends groundbreaking ceremony for two plants in Sumgayit Chemical Industry Park, inaugurates sheet glass factory (PHOTO)
Bombardier to overhaul Israel Railways carriages
Georgia may receive Pfizer vaccine in 1Q2021
Uzbekistan to receive Pfizer/Biotech vaccine against COVID-19
Iran’s Maskan Bank increases amount of loans issued in Zanjan Province
Analysts raise EU carbon price forecasts after bull run
COVID-19 vaccination may stabilize Azerbaijan's economy
Azerbaijan realizes most import operations via free convertible currency in 2020
Iran to fulfill commitments if JCPOA signatories return to negotiations - Atomic Energy Organization of Iran
USB cable manufacturing launched in Georgia
Azerbaijan records slight growth in 2020 export cargo railway freight
Iran expands manufacturing of equipment in oil sector
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for January 18
Georgia reveals volume of exported tangerines
Iran expects increase of trade with Syria
Vaccination from COVID-19 in Azerbaijan being carried out voluntarily
Turkmengas opens again tender for gas turbine compressor maintenance
German economy at risk of 'sizeable setback' if curbs extended - Bundesbank
Total passenger traffic by buses in Azerbaijan for 2020 disclosed
Kazakhstan boosts production of main precious metals year-on-year
Turkmen garment factory releases annual production data
Volume of foreign investments made in Iran's free trade zones announced
Iranian parliament's investigation of stock exchange, energy exchange dragging on
Kazakhstan reports drastic annual surge in international reserves
Azerbaijan's communication operator expands its coverage area (PHOTO)
Turkmen cotton-spinning factory names volume of output for 2020
Amazon to open two new hubs in Italy this year
Uzbekistan to introduce voluntary accreditation for medical organizations
Crypto currency mining in Iran requires transparency - local blockchain community
Kazakhstan sees increase in transporting cargo via internal waters
Companies based in Iran's Ardabil province ready to participate in restoration of Karabakh
Weekly review of main events of Azerbaijani transport sector
Uzbek currency rates for January 18
Devalued lari reduces microfinance market in Georgia
All news