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Sweden to support Palestinian UN upgrade
Photo: UNESCO/Dou Matar

Sweden to support Palestinian UN upgrade

Published: 29 Nov 2012 14:37 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Nov 2012 14:37 GMT+01:00

Sweden is set to go against the United States and Israel and vote yes to Palestinian observer status in the United Nations on Thursday, despite previous reticence to support a similar move from the Palestinian leadership.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt announced the decision on his blog but was quick to underscore that Sweden does not recognize Palestinian sovereignty.

“It should be seen as supporting a two-state solution and for the efforts to initiate concrete negotiations to reach it,” he wrote.

"This is an important upgrade."

Bildt expressed regret that, despite best intention, the European Union was unable to reach a common position on the matter as "voting yes on such a matter proved itself impossible to achieve".

Sweden was one of only 14 nations that blocked Palestinian membership to UNESCO in 2011.

The vote on Thursday will set Sweden up against the wishes of the United States and Israel as the UN General Assembly meets in New York.

Bildt earlier in the year said he had tried to dissuade the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas from asking the United Nations to revise the status.

“The main aim right now is to stimulate the two parties to a dialogue. That’s what we are supporting,” Bildt said as late as January.

The only other country with a similar observer status is the Vatican.

A Palestinian attempt to gain full membership last year found no support in the UN Security Council, where the permanent members all have veto rights.

To be upgraded to observer status a simple majority in the Assembly is required.

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Your comments about this article

17:51 November 29, 2012 by Iraniboy
I really love US and allies position and this issue! "We support two states solutions where one state is an state and the other is not!!!"
18:35 November 29, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
18:45 November 29, 2012 by JOHNATAN
Two states to two different people-we accept it.

Abu Mazen accept it.

Hamas deny it.

Can we make peace just with 50% of the Palestinian people?

and then, the borders must be established in direct talks between Israel and Palestine,so the question of Jerusalem and the other holly cities.

It may include territories change and will include a wiyhdrown from occupied territories.

There is election in Israel in short time, that will be an issue.
19:03 November 29, 2012 by rohermoker
I can see why Sweden is voting for this, Both the Swed's and Hammas want the Jews driven in to the sea.
20:13 November 29, 2012 by burito
It would be a surprise if Swedistan would vote any different...
20:46 November 29, 2012 by Iraniboy
@Jonathan

Yes you can! 50% of Palestinians may want more than 1967 border but more than 50% of Israelis want more than 1867 for Israel too(all those who voted for parties supporting settlements in the occupied territories)!! The irony is why one has a right to do so and the other has not!

Since you are an Israeli you should know that as history tells us oppression will only bring more hatred. The better the Palestinians get their own country the sooner this hatred reduces and your children can have a better life in the future. A Palestinian state where its people get a standard of living as Israel will posses a zero threat to Israel while current situation will make things worse for Israel. Have you ever asked yourself why people in Jordan for example are not threat for Israel? Think about it!
05:28 November 30, 2012 by Investor612
Sweden is engaging in preemptive capitulation. There are many more Muslims than jews in Sweden and they're afraid of them.

Iraniboy is about as genuine as deeds to the Brooklyn bridge. Jordan did attack Israel in the past and hasn't done so again after being defeated.

The hatred sure didn't decrease when Israel withdrew from Gaza. They immediately began using it as a base to launch rocket attacks into Israel.

By the way, why should an Iranian be so involved in the Israel-Palestinian issue? Palestinians aren't Persians. It's Muslim tribalism. Any infidel or infidel state in a conflict with any Muslim?Muslim nation is the enemy.
14:11 November 30, 2012 by JOHNATAN
Iraniboy

I do think in the same way the principe of two states living side by side in peace, settlements can be withdrown exactly as it was done in Sinai and Gazza strip where both sellers and army were evacuated,

Irony is that it was Begin who gave Eygpt all Sinai and took out by force all settlers out and also the IDF, think of it..that terrorist from King David hotel and that right wing politician, and then another right win politician Sharon evacuated all army and settlements from Gazza strip, saying we do not wish to controll another people,

At the end all the armed conflicts terminate around the table withsigning a peace agreement,Abu Mazen will have to deal with us not with UN assembly we are the neighbours for good or for bad,and I do agree with your wards about the need for a Palestinian state, by the way we have accepted it on 29.11.47 and again in Oslo with Rabin,
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