Photo: Reuters
Carl Bildt. 'We're not there yet'
Photo: Reuters

EU says 'premature' to recognize Palestine state

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, whose country is current European Union president says, 'There has to be a Palestinian state first before we recognize one'

The European Union's Swedish presidency said Tuesday that it was "premature" to recognize a Palestinian state, even as its leaders prepare to seek such recognition at the UN Security Council.


"I don't think we are there yet," Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, told reporters in Brussels.


"I would hope that we would be in a position to recognize a Palestinian state but there has to be one first, so I think it is somewhat premature," he said, before chairing talks with his EU counterparts.


On Sunday, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said they would "go to the UN Security Council to ask for recognition of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital and with June 1967 borders."


Bildt's comments came a day after the United States voiced its opposition to a unilateral Palestinian move. State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly on Monday said, "We support the creation of a Palestinian state that is contiguous... the best way to achieve that is negotiation between two parties."


"We are convinced that has to be achieved through negotiations between two parties. We support a Palestinian state that arrives as a result of negotiations between two parties," he added.


On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there was no alternative to negotiations to secure peace and that any unilateral moves by the Palestinians would unravel past agreements.


"There is no substitute for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and any unilateral path will only unravel the framework of agreements between us and will only bring unilateral steps from Israel's side," Netanyahu told the Saban Forum in Jerusalem.


Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 11.17.09, 11:48
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