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Swedish politician urges country to recognize Palestine
Published Friday 17/02/2012 (updated) 20/02/2012 16:16
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The foreign affairs spokeswoman for Sweden's Center Party has called on her country to recognize a Palestinian state and vote for Palestinian membership at the United Nations.

Kerstin Lundgren, writing in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter on Wednesday, said if the country votes against Palestine joining the UN as a full member in a General Assembly vote, it "would definitely break Sweden's ability to contribute to peace and development in the Middle East."

Sweden voted against Palestine's membership of UNESCO in October, which passed when 107 member states voted in favor. But after PLO official Nabil Shaath visited the country in November, he said officials had informed him Sweden would support Palestine at the General Assembly.

The PLO -- currently listed as an observer "entity" with no voting rights -- applied for full membership of the UN on Sept. 23. An admissions committee said on Nov. 11 it had failed to reach an agreement on the bid.

It had been previously suggested that Palestine could instead seek upgraded observer status via the General Assembly to make it a non-member observer state, like the Vatican, although the move has been rejected by Palestinian leaders.

Lundgren noted that decades of negotiations between the a state, Israel, and a non-state, Palestine, had only resulted in the continued occupation of Palestinian lands, while Palestinians have built institutions that are ready for statehood.

"The long period of occupation, with all the changes on the ground that have taken place in the meantime, has brought concern that the world's conduct could be misinterpreted as implied consent for the de facto annexation of the Palestinian territories," she wrote.

"To show respect for every nation's right to self-determination, international law and to clarify that both Palestinians and Israelis have the same right to their own state, now more EU States must also recognize Palestine. Sweden can and should, according to the Center Party's opinion, lead the way."

"Just as we gave support to the popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, now the popular uprising against Israeli occupation and for a Palestinian state, has our support. If this dream is extinguished, we will face an entirely different Arab Spring than the last."
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1 ) A Swede / Sweden
19/02/2012 12:20
WE SUPPORT YOU PALESTINE!

2 ) Amin / The Netherlands
19/02/2012 13:01
Love you Kerstin Lundgren !

3 ) AKeenReader / UK
19/02/2012 13:58
It is vital that Palestinian leadership raise the UN statehood bid again and humiliate US and other western countries who are against it at the UNSC. Look at the example of the West, US and the Arab league who failed to get UNSC support in respect of Syria, but were just happy to get moral support via the UNGA. US's statement after the UNGA Syria vote that it confirms the world is with you. Same applies in case with Palestine.

4 ) yazzagent / usa
19/02/2012 14:55
Equal self determination for all is key to Peace!!! Thank you Sweden for having a backbone!

5 ) freedom calls / usa
19/02/2012 15:51
Come through Sweden and stand tall against Apartheid..Every single country should be striving to end the Harsh,Apartheid Occupation of Palestine including Israel.. Enough is Enough ... Never again meant for Everyone.

6 ) EE / UK
19/02/2012 17:51
I wonder would Sweden agree to accept palestinian terrorists as an immigrants?

7 ) A Swede / Sweden
19/02/2012 19:21
Nr 6, no just as we wouldnt accept a jewish israeli terrorist. But if we have to pick between the two, I wouldnt want anything wi the racist jewish terrorists, they are the most horrible!

8 ) Colin Wright / USA
19/02/2012 20:23
To EE #6 'I wonder would Sweden agree to accept palestinian terrorists as an immigrants?' I look forward to seeing the day when Sweden has to consider how many of the sudden wave of Zionist terrorists to accept as immigrants.

9 ) silver / phil.
20/02/2012 03:07
i love you sweden for initiating to recognise palestine and shame for those who oppose it. eu must act now. for the zionist are the real terrorists. palestinians are only defending their in alienable rights. they are olso human beings like the jews

10 ) Julie / USA
20/02/2012 03:37
#6 you should google and join the Nazi groups in your area, they're thrilled to have people just like you.

11 ) mohamed / somalia
20/02/2012 13:47
EE@6
the one who is terrorist,parasite, settler,immigrants, inside the palestinian territory is you or someone like you so watch your language.
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