Sweden Backs Down on Palestinian Recognition

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -
Sweden’s ambassador to Israel Carl Magnus Nesser arriving for a meeting at Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Monday. (REUTERS/Baz Ratner)
Sweden’s ambassador to Israel Carl Magnus Nesser arriving for a meeting at Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Monday. (REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

After the new Swedish prime minister’s announcement of intentions to recognize Palestinian statehood precipitated a first-class diplomatic row with Israel, Sweden modified the language of the declaration.

The Swedish Embassy in Israel issued a softened version of Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s statement, implying that recognition would come after bilateral negotiations are concluded.

“The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be resolved through a two-state solution… negotiated in accordance with the principles of international law. It must guarantee the legitimate demands of both the Palestinians and the Israelis for national self-determination and security. A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to coexist peacefully. Therefore, Sweden will recognize the State of Palestine,” the statement concluded.

Löfven’s original statement, made during his inauguration speech, bereft of that qualification, led to a summoning of Sweden’s ambassador to Israel, Carl Magnus Nesser, to the Foreign Ministry in Yerushalayim for a formal rebuke on Monday.

The MFA Deputy Director-General of the Europe Division, Aviv Shir-On, expressed Israel’s “concern and disappointment” with the original statement by Löfven.

DDG Shir-On told the Swedish ambassador that while the Middle East is in a state of crisis, and while many bitter battles and atrocities are taking place daily in many countries in the region, the choice to focus on the Palestinian issue is puzzling and misplaced, the ministry said in a statement.

The Swedish ambassador noted the remarks and promised to inform his government.