Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt with FM Lieberman 311 Re.
(photo credit:Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
Sweden is not considering going the way of a number of South American countries
and unilaterally recognizing a Palestinians state within the 1967 lines, Swedish
Foreign Minister Carl Bildt told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
words come amid consistent reports of concern in Jerusalem that a number of
European nations might follow the lead of Brazil, Argentina, Chile and other
South American states and recognize a Palestinian state.
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off such an eventuality is considered one of a number of reasons Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu is considering launching a new diplomatic initiative, widely
believe to consist of a proposal for a long-term interim agreement and
establishment of a Palestinian state within provisional borders.
comments are significant because Sweden is widely considered in Jerusalem as
being among the most pro- Palestinian states in the EU, one that would naturally
lean toward recognizing unilateral Palestinian statehood.
“I will look
forward to recognizing a Palestinian state as soon as possible, but there has to
be a Palestinian state,” Bildt said during an interview.
“And a state has
to be founded on an end of occupation, and an end of occupation is based upon an
agreement with Israel.”
Bildt, who is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu on Thursday
and who met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas earlier this
week, said his message to the Palestinians was to continue with the state
building efforts of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
“The message I gave them
is that they are building Palestine every day; don’t wait for the peace
agreement, you are building structures, security and economy, so that when the
peace agreement comes, hopefully sooner rather than later, there is a stable
viable structure there,” he said.
“That is what we are trying to support.
The building blocks of peace. But you can’t put them together in place of
Bildt said the “most fundamental definition of a state” is that
it controls its own territory, and that the Palestinians won’t control their own
territory unless there is an agreement with Israel.
Saying that the area
between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean “ain’t that big,” Bildt said the
reality is that a Palestinian state will have “to be in close cooperation with
The Palestinians have not been pushing Sweden toward recognition
at this time, Bildt said.
Also on Wednesday, Norwegian Foreign Minister
Jonas Gahr Store met with Netanyahu, as part of a oneday visit that also took
him to Ramallah and meetings with Abbas and Fayyad.
Store, who was here
in mid- January, arrived as part of a tour to the region, and traded assessments
with Netanyahu about the rapidly changing regional situation, with the prime
minister stressing his concern that Iran and Islamic radicals will take
advantage of the situation.
Netanyahu, according to officials, also
bewailed that the Palestinians were not coming to the negotiating table, and
rather were interested getting the international community to impose a
According to the officials, Netanyahu did not give Store
details about the new diplomatic initiative he is expected to
Bildt, meanwhile, declined to comment on the initiative, saying
he did not know the details.
At the same time, when asked about the idea
of a long-term interim agreement instead of a final agreement, Bildt said that
he did not see why it would not be possible to get to a final agreement swiftly,
and that the recently leaked “Palestine Papers” showed that an agreement was
“really close.”The full interview with Bildt will appear in Friday’s
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