"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
12:54 p.m. EDT
QUESTION: So the prime minister of Sweden has said that his country would recognize the state of Palestine. I think this is the first European country to do so. So from the U.S. point of view, it’s a good thing? I guess it’s not but – and did your – did Sweden tell you in advance that they were going to do so? And do you have, broadly, conversation with European countries about early possible unilateral recognitions of state of Palestine?
MS. PSAKI: Well, let me first say, since you gave me the opportunity, that we look forward to working with the new Swedish Government announced earlier today. Sweden is a close partner to the United States on a range of issues, including humanitarian and development aid to Africa, Afghanistan, and of course, on countering ISIL.
We believe international recognition of a Palestinian state is premature. We certainly support Palestinian statehood, but it can only come through a negotiated outcome, a resolution of final status issues, and mutual recognition by both parties. And certainly, the Secretary’s record of the last year and a half speaks to how committed he is to that process, but it needs to be the parties who are, of course, willing and able to move forward.
In terms of whether we knew in advance, I’d have to check on that specific question.
QUESTION: Why is it premature?
MS. PSAKI: Because we believe that the process is one that has to be worked out through the parties to agree on the terms of how they’ll live in the future of two states living side by side.
QUESTION: But this process didn’t work for 20 years, I think.
MS. PSAKI: Well, I don't know that there’s an option of just declaring it that’s going to work either.
QUESTION: You mentioned the two sides have to be willing and able. Yesterday, you – or two days ago, you questioned or said that a new project in East Jerusalem or new moves in East Jerusalem by the Israelis called into question the willingness of the Israeli Government to – does that remain the case?
MS. PSAKI: Yes.
QUESTION: And does it – is it also the case that you’re not convinced the Palestinians are willing and able to --
MS. PSAKI: Well, I don’t think we’ve seen evidence that they’re willing and able either at this point in time.
QUESTION: Okay. So it’s still both sides who are the problem here?
QUESTION: You can’t want it more than they do?
MS. PSAKI: Correct.
QUESTION: But you do want it more than they do, right?
MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, I think --
QUESTION: Isn’t that pretty clear?
MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, I think not just the United States but many countries would like to see a peaceful – peace in the Middle East.
QUESTION: Right, but the problem is that the people who want to see peace in the Middle East apparently – you would agree, right – want it more than both the Israelis and the Palestinians do?
MS. PSAKI: I don’t know if I’d characterize it that way, but sure, that’s probably accurate.