Ramallah, 3 June 2022 (TDI): Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh participated in the Nordic Day celebrations in Ramallah.

During the celebration, the Prime Minister delivered a speech and called on Nordic countries to follow Sweden’s lead and recognize the State of Palestine.

Palestinian Prime Minister also added that “Israel is systematically destroying the opportunity to materialize the establishment of a Palestinian state through land confiscation in favor of settlement expansion.”

Also, he laid an emphasis on placing sanctions on Israel, as many international institutions and organizations have said in their reports that Israel is an apartheid state in terms of legislation and implementation.

At the end of his speech, he called on the US to follow Sweden’s footsteps by recognizing the state of Palestine and the role of the international community in condemning Israel over human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza.

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Nordic Day Celebration

Nordic Day is celebrated on 23 March in all the Nordic countries in honor of the fundamental treaty of Nordic Cooperation, named after Helsinki and signed on 23 March 1962.

It defines the duties and composition of the Nordic Council and Nordic Council of Ministers. Nordic Council of Ministers includes the five Nordic countries that are Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland.

Meanwhile, Sweden is the only country in Nordic countries to recognize Palestine as a state. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established when Sweden became the first member of the European Union to recognize the State of Palestine in 2014.

Previously, other members had recognized Palestine, however, that was before they joined the European Union (EU).

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Palestine and Sweden’s relation

The Swedish government recognized the state of Palestine in 2014, becoming the first major country within the European Union to do so.

This makes Sweden the third EU country to take such a step, following Iceland in 2011 and the Vatican, which signed a diplomatic treaty with Palestine in June 2015 effectively bestowing recognition.

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Cyprus and Malta recognized Palestine in 1988 before they became EU members. The Swedish government wanted to act as a mediator between Israel and Palestine.

It would do so by allowing equal negotiations to move forward between the two instead of the current imbalance of one state negotiating with a government lacking full recognition of statehood.