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STOCKHOLM, October 30. /TASS/. The government of Sweden has formally recognized the State of Palestine on Thursday.
A decision to this effect was taken at a government session, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem said. “The government says the criteria of international law for recognizing Palestine have been fulfilled,” she wrote in an article published in Sweden’s daily Dagens Nyheter.
“Just as we make clear demands on Israel, we’ll do this towards Palestine. For example, this is related to the fight against corruption, the respect of civil and political rights, and the growth of women influence,” Wallstroem said.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas hailed the decision and considered it historical. He urged other countries to follow Sweden’s example.
The State of Palestine was officially recognized by 134 countries. It is a member of the League of Arab States, but it has no status of full-fledged UN member because Palestine is not recognized by three permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, the United Kingdom and France, as well as by the majority of EU countries and Japan.
In the EU present-day history Sweden was the first country that recognized Palestine. At the end of 1980s it was recognized by Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Cyprus, Malta, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
In early October the Swedish government said it intended to recognize the State of Palestine. Sweden’s decision was criticised by the United States and Israel. The Swedish ambassador was summoned to the Israeli Foreign Ministry to give explanations on this issue.