The Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has said that Denmark is not ready to follow Sweden’s lead in recognising a Palestinian state, according to The Local.
Ms Thorning-Schmidt was speaking in Stockholm at a meeting of Nordic and Baltic Prime Ministers ahead of the council’s 66th session in the Swedish capital.
“We all have the same goal of creating peace in the Middle East. In Denmark, we also support a two-state solution, but we have chosen another direction and we stand by that. But it is important to say that every country makes its own decisions on this question but we all agree on the same goal: creating peace in the Middle East,” she said.
Swedish media have also reported that the Norwegian Prime Minister Erma Solberg will not be following the Swedish line and would not recognise a Palestinian state before a two-state solution was ready.
Sweden became the first major European nation to officially recognise Palestine as a state although the European Union have made statements about their insistence of the outcome on talks before they have even started.
“The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law,” said Swedish PM Stefan Löfven during his inaugural speech in parliament.
“A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognise the state of Palestine,” he added.
Back in 2011 when Ms Thorning-Schmidt took office, she said Denmark would, “cooperate with the other EU countries on the recognition of an independent and viable Palestinian state.” But Denmark’s Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard had to clarify the country’s position after that Swedish declaration, saying that the Danish government was ‘not ready’ to support Palestine as a separate state.
“We look forward to being able to recognise Palestine as a state but it is hard to do that before we know whether the state would have any chance to exist,” he said.
The advocacy group ActionAid Denmark launched a petition for Denmark to recognise Palestine on Monday which has secured 12,000 signatures in two days.
Earlier this month, MPs in Westminster voted to recognise an independent state of Palestine in a non-binding vote.