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Statement by Tobias Billström

Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström


Visby, 13 October 2023

This morning’s developments in Israel and Gaza are deeply worrying.

On behalf of the Swedish Government, I have condemned the attacks on Israel by the terrorist group Hamas in no uncertain terms.

Israel has a natural right to defend itself against terrorism and indiscriminate rocket fire. Operations to this end are already under way. Naturally, it is important that Israel’s legitimate response is in accordance with the principles of international law.

Joint efforts, including by regional actors and the UN, are also important in order to avoid a serious spiral of violence, full-scale war and knock-on effects in the region. The EU also has a role to play in this.

Terrorism must be condemned and combated collectively.

At the same time, renewed endeavours are needed to ultimately bring an end to the violence and find a path to a sustainable peace. The EU and Sweden see no peaceful way forward other than a negotiated two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine co-existing in peace and security.