EU member state Sweden on Thursday recognized the State of Palestine, following a symbolic vote by Britain’s Parliament and a declaration by France that it too will recognize Palestine if peace talks fail.
Israel, of course, wasn’t thrilled with the recognition, which it described as “unfortunate” and “a declarative measure that causes much damage and has no value.”
The country’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, took things a bit further. “The Swedish government needs to understand that relations in the Mideast are more complex than self-assembled IKEA furniture and the matter should be handled responsibly and sensitively,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
The Swedish Embassy in Tel Aviv asserted that the move was “in support of negotiations,” an idea on which the country’s foreign minister elaborated.
“Sweden’s traditionally close ties with the State of Israel are now complemented by an equal relationship to the other party,” Margot Wallström wrote Thursday, according to the Times of Israel.
Wallström added that the recognition aims to make the two parties “less unequal” in any future negotiations, according to the report.
Israel recalled its ambassador from Sweden in response to the decision to recognize Palestine.