Lithuanian foreign minister objects to “unilateral” recognition of Palestine

“We have to choose to avoid any unilateral steps and to make it quite careful. The end game is clear: two-state solution, everyone behind. But how to reach it? Through negotiations, I believe, [it is] the only way to go,” the Lithuanian diplomacy chief told Brussels journalists.

Palestinians seek to have a state in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the blocked Gaza Strip with a capital in East Jerusalem. Israel invaded the territories during the 1967 war. Israeli troops and new settlers left Gaza in 2005, but continue to hold the territory in isolation.

Talks between Israel and Palestinians were cut off in April.

Sweden’s government officially recognized the Palestinian state on 30 October, shortly after British parliamentarians gave a vote of recognition in a non-binding ballot. Similar ballots are planned in Spain, France and Ireland in the future.

In 2011, Lithuania was one of merely 14 states that voted against Palestine’s membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In 2012, Lithuania decided to abstain in the vote at the General Assembly on a higher diplomatic status for the Palestinian Authority.

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