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EU: Palestinian state 'premature'

Nov. 18, 2009 at 2:15 AM

BRUSSELS, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- The European Union believes recognition of a Palestinian state is "premature," Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said Tuesday.

Sweden currently holds the EU presidency. Bildt discussed the issue with reporters in Brussels, while Javier Solana, the union's foreign policy chief, at a news conference later in the day said the union is not backing away from its support for an eventual Palestinian state, Voice of America reported.

Neither Bildt nor Solana suggested the union would endorse a move by the Palestinian Authority to seek recognition from the United Nations. The United States, one of the five veto powers on the Security Council, has said it only supports a state that would be the result of negotiations with Israel.

"I do not think we are there yet," Bildt said. "I would hope that we would be in a position to recognize a Palestinian state, but there has to be one first. So I think that is somewhat premature. We have said previously if you go back to what the European Union has said that we would be in a position to recognize a Palestinian state, but the conditions are not there as of yet."

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