STOCKHOLM: Sweden on Thursday officially recognised the state of Palestine, Stockholm’s foreign minister said, less than a month after the government announced its intention to take the controversial move.
“Today the government takes the the decision to recognise the state of Palestine,” Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said in a statement published in the Dagens Nyheter daily. “It is an important step that confirms the Palestinian’s right to self-determination.“
With its reputation as an honest broker in international affairs and with an influential voice in EU foreign policy, the recognition may well make other countries sit up and pay attention at a time when the Palestinians are threatening unilateral moves towards statehood.
British lawmakers, earlier this month, had voted overwhelmingly in favour of recognising Palestine as a state, in a non-binding motion heavy with symbolism but unlikely to change government policy.
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.