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Israel Says Sweden Hasty In Plans To Recognize Palestine As State

Israel has described as hasty a plan by Sweden's new government to recognize Palestine as a state in the absence of Middle East peace negotiations.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on October 5 that Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven had "hastened to make declarations ... apparently before he could delve into the matter and understand it is the Palestinians who have constituted the obstacle to progress" in reaching a peace accord with Israel.

Lofven announced his intention to recognize Palestine as a state during his inaugural address to Stockholm's parliament on October 3.

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called the Swedish announcement "great and honourable" and says he hopes other countries would follow suit.

Palestinians seek statehood in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, adjacent East Jerusalem, and the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Based on reporting by AFP and BBC