Lieberman: Swedish Recognition Won't Replace Palestinian-Israeli Talks

Israel to summon Swedish envoy following new PM Stefan Lofven's declaration of intent to recognize Palestine; Lieberman calls Lofven's remarks proof he has not internalized that it's the Palestinians who are presenting obstacles, not Israel.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loefven, September 10, 2014.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loefven, September 10, 2014.Credit: AFP
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Israel will summon the Swedish ambassador over Prime Minister Stefan Lofven's announcement that the newly-formed government would recognize the Palestinian state, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's bureau said Sunday.

Lieberman said that Lofven's decision demonstrated that the new Swedish premier "has not yet internalized that those who have posed an obstacle over the last 20 years to progress and an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians are the Palestinians."

"The Swedish prime minister needs to understand that any declaration and any step by an external element will not be an alternative to direct negotiations between the sides and to a solution that is part of an inclusive arrangement between Israel and the Arab world," Lieberman added. "If what concerned the Swedish prime minister in his inaugural speech was the situation in the Middle East, he should have focused on the morning burning issues in the region, like the daily mass murder happening in Syria, Iraq and other places in the region."

“I have instructed the Foreign Ministry staff to invite the Swedish Ambassador to Israel in for a discussion," he said.

Meretz Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On welcomed Sweden's declaration, saying it could be the catalyst for a snowball effect to lead the rest of the European Union states to recognize a Palestinian state.

"Instead of summoning the Swedish ambassador to Israel for a reprimand, which will put into question all the more forcefully Netanyahu's commitment to the two-state solution, after having already lost U.S. President Barack Obama's faith in him on this matter, it would have been better for Israel to lose its fixation and say yes to a Palestinian state in the United Nations," Gal-On. "Then Israel could hold different negotiations, government to government, on an equal basis aimed at reaching a solution for two states."

In his inaugural address at parliament on Friday, Lofven said, "The conflict between Israel can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law."

"A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine."

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki called Sweden's decision "premature," citing the need to first resolve final status issues.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott