LO-Sweden welcomes the Swedish government’s recognition of the State of Palestine

Forming public opinion Last Thursday, Sweden became the 136th country in the world to recognise the State of Palestine. Although seven other EU member states – Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Romania – have already done so, Sweden is the first country from Western Europe to recognise Palestine.

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With this historic decision, Sweden wants to facilitate and influence the peace-process.

As Margot Wallström, the Swedish foreign minister said following the announcement" "It is an important step that confirms the Palestinians’ right to self-determination. We hope that this will show the way for others."

Sweden also hopes that by recognising Palestine, it will contribute to having the two parties, Israel and Palestine, reach an agreement on a more equal footing.

The recognition also gives support to the more moderate forces in both countries.

Here at LO, we are delighted about this decision.

Our President, Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson, said in a statement: "I’m very glad for the government’s decision. I am convinced that this will boost people’s faith in the future in Palestine, after such a long time with ever-increasing tensions and no ongoing peace negotiations at all."

But this is just a first step.

As Thorwaldsson said: "The international community must find a stable and durable solution leading to Palestine and Israel, hopefully in the near future, living side by side, in peace and security."

"I also welcome that the government has approved a five-year development strategy for Palestine with a substantial economic increase, from today’s 500 million Swedish krona (approximately 55 million euros) to 1.5 billion (approximately 162 million euros)."

"This will almost certainly contribute to building a free, democratic Palestine, respecting and complying with human rights, equality and equity," he said.