Swedish clarification of ‘Palestine’ fails to weaken declaration

New Swedish government stirred controversy when it announced it will recognize the state of Palestine.

By
October 5, 2014 18:27
1 minute read.
Stockholm

Sweden's Prime minister Stefan Lofven announces his new government during a Parliament session in Stockholm October 3. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Foreign Ministry on Monday is set to call in Sweden’s ambassador to Israel to protest the new government’s announcement that it will recognize the “state of Palestine,” as a clarification of the matter released by the Swedish Embassy on Sunday did not really change anything.

Following a harsh response by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman to new Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s announcement during his inaugural address to parliament on Friday, the embassy explained the move in a statement released on Sunday.

According to the first version of the statement, “The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be resolved through a two-state solution, the prime minister said, 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. Consequently, Sweden will recognize the State of Palestine, the prime minister concluded.”

The use of the word “consequently” left the impression that Sweden had back-peddled on its pledge, and would only recognize the state of Palestine after an agreement is negotiated.

Queried by The Jerusalem Post about whether this was indeed the meaning of the rather vague statement, a representative issued a corrected version of the statement, replacing the word “consequently” with “therefore,” and as a result leaving Löfven’s statement intact.

The corrected version reads as follows: “On his first day of office, the prime minister announced in parliament, as part of a statement on government policy, that Sweden will recognize the State of Palestine.

The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be resolved through a two-state solution, the prime minister said, 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 prime minister concluded.”

A Foreign Ministry official said that Israel will seek further clarification on the matter when Aviv Shiron, the ministry’s deputy director- general for Western Europe, meets with Swedish envoy Carl Magnus Nesser on Monday afternoon.


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