Shimon Peres, Sweden's Carl Magnus Nesser
Shimon Peres, Sweden's Carl Magnus Nesser Flash 90

After Sweden caused a ruckus by recognizing "Palestine" as a state on late Friday - on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur - the European state now says it wants to preserve "good relations" with Israel.

Swedish Ambassador to Israel Carl Magnus Nesser will travel from his country's embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Monday to meet with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, after Liberman summoned him over the statements.

Speaking to Galei Tzahal (IDF Radio) ahead of the meeting, Nesser said "Israel and Sweden have a strong relationship, and the new government has been very clear that it wants it to continue, and this is of course the message that I will bring to the ministry."

Not many in Israel have felt left-wing Social Democrat leader Stefan Loefven's new government formed last month has been "clear" about strong relations with Israel, particularly after the message last Friday saying his government will recognize a "Palestinian state."

Nesser attempted to justify his government's statements by referencing the "tragedy" of Israel's counter-terror Operation Protective Edge.

"These talks have been suspended for a while, and I think the conflict in Gaza makes very clear, that the tragedy of that conflict - that the status quo - needs to be changed," said Nesser.

Nesser's call for talks with Hamas comes despite the fact that the group, both in its political and "military" branches, is on the European Union's (EU) officiallist of terrorist organizations.

When asked if he expected other European states would follow suit after his country promised recognition of "Palestine," Nesser said "the purpose of such a statement about this forthcoming recognition is of course to support negotiations leading to the two state solution, so the objective is to be helpful."

Both Liberman and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu criticized the statement as being precisely "unhelpful," saying such unilateral moves will only harm the chances of "peace."

Responding to the backlash, which has also come from America, Loefven has backtracked, saying he would only recognize "Palestine" following negotiations with Israel.

For his part, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was quick to praise the statement, calling it "great and honorable" on the official PA WAFA news agency, and saying he hoped other countries would do likewise. Abbas is currently asking the UN to press Israel to withdraw from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem by 2016.

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