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Israel recalls ambassador to Sweden in protest of its recognition of Palestine

From an article in The Middle East Monitor:  The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs recalled its ambassador to Stockholm yesterday following Sweden’s official recognition of the State of Palestine.

Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported that “the Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, instructed Israel’s ambassador to the Swedish capital Stockholm, Yitzhak Bahman, to return to Tel Aviv for consultations, in protest against Sweden’s recognition of the State of Palestine.”

Earlier that day, Lieberman wrote a post on his Facebook page reading: “It is a pity the Swedish government has chosen to adopt the measure that strengthens the extremists.”

He added: “The only chance at reaching an agreement was through negotiations. These types of moves strengthen the unrealistic Palestinian demands and serve to push any agreement further away.”

“It is a pity the Swedish government has chosen to adopt the measure that does a lot of damage and has no benefits,” he said.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström yesterday announced that her country’s government officially recognised Palestine.

Sweden is the first EU state to recognise Palestine. Other EU member states such as Hungary, Poland and Slovakia that recognise a Palestinian state did so before they joined the EU.

Earlier this month, the British House of Commons recognised Palestine in a symbolic vote by a majority of 274 votes to 12 in a session that was not attended by British Prime Minister David Cameron.

On October 22, the Irish Senate approved a non-binding proposal that calls on the Dublin government to recognise Palestine. This came after the Labour Socialist Party of Spain submitted​​ its own proposal to the Spanish Congress calling for the same step. No date has yet been set for the vote.

Royce Christyn
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