STOCKHOLM (CBS News/CBSDC/AP) — Sweden’s new government says it has recognized a Palestinian state, a move declared by the prime minister as a priority for the left-leaning minority coalition.

The EU member country on Thursday joined only two other Western European countries – Malta and Cyprus – that have officially recognized Palestine.

Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said Sweden had decided on the move because the “criteria of international law” had been fulfilled, saying there is “a territory, a people and government.”

The EU has said that it would recognize a Palestinian state “when appropriate” and has urged that negotiations be resumed as soon as possible to achieve a two-state solution.

Earlier this month, British lawmakers held a symbolic vote in favor of recognizing Palestine as a state.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told lawmakers in his inaugural address in October that his Social Democrat government would to recognize a Palestinian state, the Reuters news agency points out. That was criticized by Israel and the United States.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


Leave a Reply