The Swedish Embassy in Israel has released an updated statement effectively “clarifying” an earlier announcement by newly-elected Prime Minister Stefan Lofven that raised a firestorm in Israel and even some disapproval by the U.S.
On Friday the Swedish prime minister announced to his cabinet that his country would be the first to officially recognize the “state of Palestine.” The news prompted words of caution from political leaders who warned the prime minister to reconsider his actions.
Even Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cautioned Sweden on Sunday that it was damaging any chance for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, rather than helping the process.
After consultations in Jerusalem, the statement by the Swedish Embassy in Israel late Sunday read as follows:
“The prime minister said that the conflict between Israel and Palestine can be solved through the two-state solution, by negotiations in accordance with the principles of international law.”
The solution, said the embassy, “must guarantee the legitimate demands of both Palestinians and Israelis, to self-determination and security. The two-state solution requires mutual recognition and the will to live together in peace. The prime minister concluded with the words that as a result, Sweden would recognize the Palestinian state.”