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In diplomatic snub, Liberman refuses meeting with Swedish counterpart

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Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has refused to meet with his Swedish counterpart next month in light of Stockholm\’s decision to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state.

Liberman on Wednesday rejected Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström\’s request to convene a meeting in Jerusalem in January during her upcoming visit to Israel.

In October, Sweden was the the first major European country to recognize the state of "Palestine."

Liberman has staunchly condemned the Swedish government\’s willingness to recognize a Palestinian state, and previously snubbed the country\’s Prime Minister Sefan Lofven over the issue.

The foreign minister recalled Israel\’s Ambassador to Sweden Isaac Bachman to Jerusalem for consultations following the move.

As Palestinians seek statehood in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with east Jerusalem as a capital, they sidestepped stalled peace talks by lobbying foreign powers to recognize their sovereignty claim.

Earlier on Wednesday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution supporting Palestinian statehood in principle in a compromise motion that did not follow some European national legislatures in backing immediate recognition of a Palestinian state.

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