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Sweden raises Palestine diplomatic representation from mission to embassy

Sweden yesterday elevated the Palestinian diplomatic representation from mission to an embassy, the Anadolu Agency reported.

Undersecretary at the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tayseer Jaradat told the Anadolu Agency: "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas inaugurated on Tuesday the Embassy of the State of Palestine in Stockholm and raised the Palestinian flag after Sweden raised the level of the Palestinian diplomatic representation from mission to an embassy."

Jaradat pointed out that the move "is a great achievement for Palestinian diplomacy. We appreciate this step from Sweden which took the initiative, worked and resisted all pressures mounted by Israel against the move."

"We look at this step as the beginning for a qualitative transformation in diplomatic ties between Palestine and the European Union countries and we look forward to developing similar ties with the rest of the European countries," he added.

Jaradat noted that "the European countries' parliaments call on their governments to recognise the State of Palestine is a result of Palestinian efforts and after their people felt that Israel fails the negotiations and rejects the Palestinian people's rights."

Abbas arrived in Sweden yesterday for a three-day visit during which he will meet with several officials, notably Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom and Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf.

At a joint press conference with Löfven, Abbas said: "Sweden's recognition of Palestine shows Sweden's moral, balanced and fair diplomatic positions towards the Palestinian people's rights to freedom and independence."

Abbas hoped that all European countries follow Sweden's lead, according to Palestinian official news agency.

Sweden was the first European country to recognise Palestine as a state in October last year.

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