The Swedish government officially recognized Palestine during its Thursday morning session, according to Haaretz. It is the first European state to recognize a Palestinian state.
"Today the government takes the decision to recognize the state of Palestine," Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said in a statement published in the Dagens Nyheter daily, AFP reported.
The government wants "first of all" to give its support to moderate Palestinian forces, she also wrote.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called it a "historic step" that constitutes a reaction to Israel's "conduct and the continued occupation."
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman criticized the Swedish move, calling it a "very unfortunate decision" that will strengthen "radical and intransigent" Palestinian elements, according to Haaretz.
The United States called Sweden’s action "premature.”