Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt and Palestinian Ambassador Hala Husni Fariz today signed a host country agreement. The agreement gives the Palestinian Representation in Sweden a position equivalent to that of an embassy in Stockholm.
“The Palestinian government has made significant progress in the work of laying the foundations for a Palestinian state. Sweden has a leading role in the international support for Palestinian state-building. It is therefore natural for us to take this step,” says Mr Bildt.
Since Sweden has not recognised Palestine as a state, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is not directly applicable, and immunities and privileges must be regulated in a special host country agreement. In formal terms, the host country agreement is being signed with the PLO, acting on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. Since a legislative amendment is required for the agreement to enter into force, a bill will be presented to the Riksdag in the autumn.
The Palestinian Representation in Stockholm was upgraded in 2011 from the General Delegation of Palestine to the Mission of Palestine. As of 2010, the head of mission has the title of Ambassador.
A growing number of EU countries have upgraded the formal position of Palestinian Representations and given them the same immunities and privileges as embassies.
(www.sweden.gov.se / 28.06.2012)