Sweden Palestine
A man walks by the entrance of the Palestinian Representative Office in Stockholm, Sweden 's capital, on October 30, 2014. Sweden on October 30, 2014 officially recognised the state of Palestine, becoming the first major European country to do so, in a move hailed as 'historic' by Palestinians but denounced by Israel. Getty Images

Israel has recalled its ambassador to Sweden, Isaac Bachman, for an unspecified length of time shortly after Stockholm officially recognised the state of Palestine.

This indeed reflects our irritation and annoyance at this unhelpful decision, which does not contribute to a return to (peace) negotiations.
- Emmanuel Nachshon, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman

"This indeed reflects our irritation and annoyance at this unhelpful decision, which does not contribute to a return to [peace] negotiations," Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Emmanuel Nachshon told AFP News.

Margot Wallstrom, the Swedish Foreign Minister, announced on Thursday that Sweden has officially recognised the state of Palestine.

"Today the government takes the decision to recognise the state of Palestine. It is an important step that confirms the Palestinians' right to self-determination. We hope that this will show the way for others," said Wallstrom less than a month after Sweden's prime minister Stefan Lofven announced the plan during his inaugural address in parliament.

Sweden is the first European country to officially recognise the state of Palestine, whose President Mahmoud Abbas hailed the decision as "brave and historic."

Abbas urged others to follow Sweden's move, but the decision was condemned by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Shortly after Sweden announced the decision, Lieberman issued a statement saying:

"The decision of the Swedish government to recognise a Palestinian state is a deplorable decision which only strengthens extremist elements and Palestinian rejectionism.

"The Swedish government must understand that relations in the Middle East are a lot more complex than the self-assembly furniture of Ikea and that they have to act with responsibility and sensitivity."

'Right time' to recognise Palestinian state

Meanwhile, Sweden's Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, has defended her country's decision on France24 saying: "There is a people, there is a territory and there is a government."

Wallstrom feels her country acted at the right moment: "Now is a right time ... because of the situation on the ground, to make this less unequal."