by ALEENA BEIG
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has stated that Sweden’s new central government is now recognizing Palestine as a state, which will make it the first major European country. The U.S. State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki called Sweden’s decision “premature,” citing the need to first resolve the final status issues.
The UN General Assembly approved the factor of recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine but the European Union, and most of these countries, have yet to give official recognition. The conflict between Israel can only be solved with a two-state solution. The two-state solution refers to a solution of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict currently under discussion. The two-state solution envisions an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, west of the Jordan River. It negotiates with the accordance of international law, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said during his inaugural address in parliament that “A two-state solution requires recognition, therefore Sweden will now recognize Palestine as a state.”
For the Palestinians, Sweden’s move will be a welcoming boost for its ambitions. If the government fulfills its plans, Sweden will officially be the first to recognize Palestine, while being a member of the European Union.
The Palestinians want a State in West Bank and Gaza with its capital in East Jerusalem. While Gaza’s boundaries are clearly defined, the precise territory of what would constitute Palestine in the West Bank and East Jerusalem will only be determined via negotiations with Israel on a two-state solution; negotiations which are currently suspended.