18:58 GMT17 January 2021
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    Swedish Foreign Minister said that government will appoint a special envoy to the peace process in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) The Swedish government will appoint a special envoy to the peace process in the Israel-Palestine conflict, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said Wednesday.

    "This year marks 50 years of the occupation of Palestine. Sweden continues to work for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and will appoint a special envoy," Wallstrom said during the parliamentary debate on foreign affairs as quoted by the government press service.

    She added that Sweden was holding regular contacts "with almost 150 Israeli and Palestinian civil society organizations" regarding the conflict settlement process.

    "Security Council resolution 2334 on the Israeli settlements, and the international conference held in Paris in January, could, in the best-case scenario, create the conditions for a renewed peace process and a two-state solution," Wallstrom pointed out.

    Sweden-Israel relations have deteriorated after Sweden had recognized Palestine’s independence shortly after Wallstrom became Foreign Minister in October 2014. Besides, after Wallstrom had called for investigations into the "extrajudicial" killings of Palestinian assailants by Israeli forces, Israeli officials refused to welcome the Swedish foreign minister in the country during her state visit to the region in December 2016.

    Attempts to settle the conflict over Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 on the international basis have been taken since 2002. As a result of the Paris Conference for peace in the Middle East held on January 15, 2017, the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 has been chosen as the basis for conflict resolution, implying the creation of the independent and sovereign Palestinian state within the borders of 1967.

    According to the Resolution 2334 of the United Nations Security Council, adopted on December 23, 2016, Israel is to stop settlement activity in Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, as these activities are violating international law.

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    Margot Wallstrom, Sweden, Palestine, Israel
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