CMEP Bulletin: Europe Responds to IsraelΓÇÖs Latest Settlement Plans
Weekly Churches for Middle East Peace update
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced October 3rd that Sweden will recognize the State of Palestine. If Lofven’s government follows through with its plans, Sweden would become the first EU member country to recognize the State of Palestine. Currently over 100 mostly smaller countries recognize Palestine. The UN General Assembly gave Palestine the status of “non-member observer state” in 2012.
In response, US State Department Spokeswomen Jen Psaki told reporters, “[The US believes] international recognition of a Palestinian state is premature. We believe that the process is one that has to be worked out through the parties to agree on the terms of how they’ll live in the future of two states living side-by-side.” Israeli Foreign Ministry Official said the announcement “gives the Palestinians the unrealistic expectation that [they] may achieve their goal unilaterally, rather than through negotiations with Israel.” The Swedish Ambassador said “that in deciding to recognize a Palestinian state, Sweden was making a statement of support for the resumption of peace negotiations.”