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Iran Press TV

Netanyahu slams Swedish counterpart over Palestine initiative

Iran Press TV

Sun Oct 5, 2014 9:52PM GMT

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hit out on Sweden for a decision to recognize Palestine as a state.

The Israeli premier's office released a statement on Sunday in reaction to the decision by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven earlier.

The statement said Israel 'is opposed to any unilateral action that does not help to reach peace, but on the contrary just makes the prospect for it more distant.'

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said earlier that Sweden's "new prime minister was in a hurry" and did not "study the issue in depth.'

Löfven announced the decision during his inaugural address to the parliament in Stockholm on Friday.

Lieberman called on Löfven to focus on the problems "elsewhere" in the region, referring to the situation in Iraq and Syria.

Washington also reacted to the Swedish initiative with US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki calling the move "premature."

"It's not the US that decides our politics," Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström said in response to Psaki's comment.

The Swedish decision will have to be approved by the parliament to make the country the first EU state to recognize Palestine's sovereignty.

Sweden was among the countries that voted to upgrade Palestine's status to non-member observer state at the United Nations General Assembly on November 29, 2012.

The observer state status grants Palestinians access to UN agencies and the International Criminal Court, where they can file formal complaints against the Israeli regime.

On Wednesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he would take measures to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) if the United States vetoed a UN Security Council motion to condemn occupation of Palestinian territories by the Israeli regime.

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds (Jerusalem), and the besieged Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.

Tel Aviv, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds.


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