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Sweden upgrades Palestinian diplomatic status

Swedish lawmakers have upgraded Palestinian diplomatic status but rejected an amendment calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state.

Image: chaoss via Shutterstock

SWEDEN HAS BECOME the ninth European country to upgrade the status of a Palestinian representative office to that of an embassy.

Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to ratify a June 28 agreement between Stockholm and Ramallah on upgrading the Palestinian Authority’s mission here.

The agreement gives the Palestinian Authority’s representation in Sweden “the same privileges, immunities, exemptions and privileges as embassies and their representatives.”

But lawmakers rejected an amendment calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state, with 179 votes against and 140 votes in favour of the proposal.

In November, Sweden backed a resolution recognising the Palestinians as a non-member observer state at the UN, but members of the ruling centre-right coalition disagree on the issue of recognising Palestinian statehood.

Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Cyprus are the other European countries to have given Palestinian representation the status of an embassy.

- © AFP, 2013

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