Sweden has been lambasted by the U.S. State Department for its untimely and curious recognition of a Palestinian State.
The new Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, said in his inaugural address to parliament, “The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law. A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine.”
But Jen Psaki from the State Department released a statement that Sweden was essentially wrong for recognizing a Palestinian State, saying, “We believe that the process is one that has to be worked out through the parties to agree on the terms of how they’ll live in the future of two states living side-by-side.”
Despite the condemnations from from Psaki, the Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riad Malki, thanked Lofven “in the name of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership, we thank and salute the Swedish position,” urging other European countries to follow suit.
Even though the UN General Assembly approved the de-facto recognition of the state of Palestine in 2012, the U.S. and most E.U. countries have yet to give official recognition to the Palestinians.
The former center-right Swedish administration refused to recognize Palestine due to the fact that the Palestinian Authority doesn’t control many aspects of administration and security in its own territory as Hamas administers the Gaza Strip. The Swedish government has taken the unprecedented step of recognizing the State of Palestine, being the first E.U. member to officially do so.
Israel’s position is that, even though Gaza’s boundaries are clearly defined, the final borders of the West Bank will only be determined via negotiations between the parties.