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Sweden recognizes Palestinian Embassy, not state

Parliament votes to upgrade status of diplomatic delegation, objects to recognizing independent country

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

The Swedish Riksdag (CC-BY-SA Janwikifoto/Wikimedia Commons)
The Swedish Riksdag (CC-BY-SA Janwikifoto/Wikimedia Commons)

Sweden on Wednesday upgraded the Palestinian Authority delegation in Stockholm to the status of an embassy, but refused to recognize Palestine as an independent state.

The decision by the Riksdag — the Swedish parliament — was passed by a large majority, AFP reported. According to the agreement ratified by the legislators, the PA’s representation would now have “the same privileges, immunities and exemptions as embassies and their representatives.”

However, a proposal to amend the agreement and recognize a Palestinian state was rejected by the parliament. The measure lost 179-140.

Sweden is the 14th European country to upgrade the status of the Palestinian delegation to that of embassy. In February Cyprus did the same. Other countries on the list include Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Ireland.

Sweden’s decision came months after the UN General Assembly in November voted to give the Palestinian Authority nonmember observer state status.

The UN’s resolution upgrading the Palestinians’ status to a nonmember observer state at the United Nations – the same status as The Vatican — was approved by an overwhelming majority of the body’s 193 members.

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