World

Sweden's new government recognizes state of Palestine

  • Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom talks during a news conference Thursday Oct. 30, 2014, at the government building Rosenbad, in Stockholm, after Sweden's new government officially recognized a Palestinian state. Wallstrom said the Scandinavian country had decided on the move because the criteria of international law required for such recognition had been fulfilled, "There is a territory, a people and government," she told reporters in Stockholm. (AP Photo/Annika af Klercker) SWEDEN OUT

    Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom talks during a news conference Thursday Oct. 30, 2014, at the government building Rosenbad, in Stockholm, after Sweden's new government officially recognized a Palestinian state. Wallstrom said the Scandinavian country had decided on the move because the criteria of international law required for such recognition had been fulfilled, "There is a territory, a people and government," she told reporters in Stockholm. (AP Photo/Annika af Klercker) SWEDEN OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom talks during a news conference Thursday Oct. 30, 2014, at the government building Rosenbad, in Stockholm, after Sweden's new government officially recognized a Palestinian state. Wallstrom said the Scandinavian country had decided on the move because the criteria of international law required for such recognition had been fulfilled, "There is a territory, a people and government," she told reporters in Stockholm. (AP Photo/Annika af Klercker) SWEDEN OUT

    Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom talks during a news conference Thursday Oct. 30, 2014, at the government building Rosenbad, in Stockholm, after Sweden's new government officially recognized a Palestinian state. Wallstrom said the Scandinavian country had decided on the move because the criteria of international law required for such recognition had been fulfilled, "There is a territory, a people and government," she told reporters in Stockholm. (AP Photo/Annika af Klercker) SWEDEN OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom talks to the media Thursday Oct. 30, 2014,  at the government building Rosenbad, in Stockholm, after Sweden's new government officially recognized a Palestinian state. Wallstrom said the Scandinavian country had decided on the move because the criteria of international law required for such recognition had been fulfilled, "There is a territory, a people and government," she told reporters in Stockholm. (AP Photo/Annika af Klercker) SWEDEN OUT

    Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom talks to the media Thursday Oct. 30, 2014, at the government building Rosenbad, in Stockholm, after Sweden's new government officially recognized a Palestinian state. Wallstrom said the Scandinavian country had decided on the move because the criteria of international law required for such recognition had been fulfilled, "There is a territory, a people and government," she told reporters in Stockholm. (AP Photo/Annika af Klercker) SWEDEN OUT  (The Associated Press)

Sweden's new government says it has recognized a Palestinian state, a move declared by the prime minister as a priority for the left-leaning minority coalition.

The EU member country on Thursday joined only two other Western European countries — Malta and Cyprus — that have officially recognized Palestine.

Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said Sweden had decided on the move because the "criteria of international law" had been fulfilled, saying there is "a territory, a people and government."

The EU has said that it would recognize a Palestinian state "when appropriate" and has urged that negotiations be resumed as soon as possible to achieve a two-state solution.

Earlier this month, British lawmakers held a symbolic vote in favor of recognizing Palestine as a state.