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Israel to summon Swedish envoy

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MIDEAST-BETHLEHEM-PROTESTIsrael’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday it will summon the Swedish ambassador to protest new Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s decision to recognize the Palestinian state.

“I regret that the Swedish prime minister was in a hurry to make statements on Sweden’s position regarding recognition of a Palestinian state, apparently before he had time even to study the issue in depth,” said Lieberman.

Lieberman said Lofven “has not yet internalised that those who have posed an obstacle over the last 20 years to progress and an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians are the Palestinians”, Xinhua reported.

In his inaugural address to parliament Friday, Löfven said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be resolved by a two-state solution which “requires mutual recognition and the will to co-exist peacefully.

“Sweden will therefore recognize the State of Palestine,” Lofven said but did not mention how or when it would be done.

Israel fears that other major European countries will follow Sweden to recognize a Palestinian state.

The Palestinians want an independent state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.