Saudis recall Sweden ambassador amid diplomatic row

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Saudis recall Sweden ambassador amid diplomatic row





Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom was blocked from speaking to the Arab League


Saudi Arabia has recalled its ambassador after Sweden ended a weapons deal between the countries on Monday.

Sweden acted after Saudi Arabia blocked a speech by the Swedish foreign minister to the Arab League.

On Wednesday, the Saudi Foreign Ministry described Margot Wallstrom's remarks as "offensive" and a "blatant interference in its internal affairs."

The decade old defence deal was worth millions of dollars in Swedish arms exports and was due to expire in May.

The Swedish foreign ministry confirmed that Saudi Ambassador Ibrahim bin Saad Al-Ibrahim was being withdrawn due to the country's criticism of the Kingdom's record on "human rights and democracy."

Ms Wallstrom is an outspoken critic of the Gulf state, previously describing it as a "dictatorship".

On Monday, Ms Wallstrom posted online a copy of the speech she was due to give to the Arab League in Cairo.

In the wide-ranging speech she highlighted Sweden's commitment to international human rights. She also advocated the benefits of democratic progress, and called for members to "focus attention on women's rights."

She described freedom of religion and expression as "fundamental rights".

In February, Ms Wallstrom told the Swedish parliament that Riyadh violated women's rights and criticised the flogging of activist and blogger Raif Badawi.
BBC News - Saudis recall Sweden ambassador amid diplomatic row

Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador to Sweden


Staff Writer, Al Arabiya News
Wednesday, 11 March 2015



A general view of Saudi Arabia's embassy is seen in Stockholm, March 11, 2015. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Sweden on Wednesday, accusing Stockholm of “flagrant interference” in its internal affairs, the state news agency SPA reported.

“An official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that due to the offensive remarks made by Sweden's Foreign Minister against the Kingdom, the Kingdom considered these remarks as a blatant interference in its internal affairs,” SPA reported.

“The source stressed that these remarks are against the international conventions and diplomatic norms and do not conform with the friendly relations between the countries.”

“The official source added that Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden,” the official agency added.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/11/Saudi-Arabia-recalls-ambassador-to-Sweden.html
 
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Very nice move from KSA. I really like how KSA doesn't take shıt from anybody.
 
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Very nice move from KSA. I really like how KSA doesn't take shıt from anybody.

Bunch of immature politicians.
 
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Sweden has committed a grave mistake by pocking a nose in Saudi Arabia internal affairs and soon they shall pay for it.
 
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Good job Sweden.
 
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Saudi Arabia, UAE summon Swedish ambassadors


Staff Writer, Al Arabiya News
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates Summoned Swedish ambassadors in both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to protest against recent statements by Stockholm deemed offensive to Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia had recalled its ambassador to Sweden last Wednesday, accusing Stockholm of “flagrant interference” in its internal affairs.

“An official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that due to the offensive remarks made by Sweden's Foreign Minister against the Kingdom, the Kingdom considered these remarks as a blatant interference in its internal affairs,” Saudi official news agency SPA reported.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash, in statements carried by state news agency WAM, expressed “the UAE’s extreme condemnation of the statements made by the foreign minister of Sweden to the Swedish Parliament regarding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its judicial system.”

The minister said “these statements violate the principle of sovereignty upon which normal relations between states are based and are considered an interference in internal affairs and do not respect the religious and cultural specificities of countries and societies.”

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) last week denouncedremarks by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem criticizing the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia.

These statements constitute a “flagrant interference in the kingdom's internal affairs,” the GCC said in a statement last Thursday.
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/18/Saudi-Arabia-summons-Sweden-s-ambassador.html
 
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Bahrain denounces Swedish minister's statement against Saudi Arabia

Manama, Mar. 16 (BNA): The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denounced the recent statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Sweden, Margot Wallström, at the Swedish parliament against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. "Such statements are considered a blatant interference and a rejected infringement against the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its judicial system, considering that any interference in the internal affairs of a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country is considered to be an interference in all GCC countries," the ministry said.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stresses the importance of mutual recognition of state systems and institutions and the respect of cultural diversity among communities, and affirms that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which derives its rules from the Islamic Sharia, has laid the foundation that provides people with all rights and freedoms based on the values of justice, mercy and equality. The ministry calls for commitment to international conventions and diplomatic norms that strictly prohibit interference in internal affairs and do not permit it under any form," the ministry said.

Bahrain News Agency | Bahrain denounces Swedish minister's statement against Saudi Arabia
 
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Sweden’s king ‘worried’ about Saudi row






The king is seemingly distressed about Sweden’s escalating spat with Saudi Arabia. The row began when Saudi Arabia blocked Wallström’s speech on democracy and human rights as a guest of honour addressing the Arab League, and resulted in Sweden limiting its military ties with the Saudis.

Tensions heightened when Saudi Arabia responded by recalling its ambassador to Stockholm and announced it would not issue any new visas for Swedish business people.

On Saturday, the royal palace announced that the king would meet Sweden’s top diplomat on Monday “to help contribute in finding a solution to the situation”.

The king also said that: “It’s important to have a good dialogue and good relations between countries,” but noted that he hadn’t been in contact with the Saudi royals.

Although the meeting has been scheduled for some time, Margareta Thorgren, a spokeswoman for the royal palace, said:

“It’s a good timing for the meeting. The king has a dialogue with the government, but I won’t comment more about what they will talk about.”

The Swedish king primarily serves as a figurehead and has very limited powers.
 
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Comoros Stresses Solidarity with the Kingdom




Moroni, Jumada I 29, 1436, Mar 20, 2015, SPA -- The Comoros stressed its solidarity with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and expressed its rejection and condemnation of remarks made by Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wahlstrom against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Relations of the Republic of the Comoros in this regard, the Comoros confirmed that the Swedish Foreign Minister’s remarks are deemed interference in internal affairs of the Kingdom, adding that these abusive remarks are against 1.500 million Muslims in the world, not only against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

الاخبار المصورة
 
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Swedish King moves to contain diplomatic rift with Saudi Arabia

Stockholm, Asharq Al-Awsat—Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf will meet with Foreign Minister Margot Wallström on Monday in a bid to contain an ongoing diplomatic spat between Sweden and Saudi Arabia.

A statement from the Swedish Royal Court on Saturday said the King would meet with Wallström in order “to help contribute in finding a solution to the situation,” which was precipitated by comments made by the foreign minister earlier this month criticizing Saudi Arabia’s judiciary.

It said the King is hoping to open a “new page” in relations with Riyadh in order to smooth over the fallout from the row, adding that he had a “historic” relationship with Saudi Arabia. King Carl was among the foreign leaders and dignitaries who visited Riyadh in January to pay their condolences following the death of Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz.

Riyadh recalled its ambassador to Sweden on March 10 following Wallström’s comments, which the Kingdom said “amounted to interference” in its internal affairs, “in violation of international covenants and diplomatic conventions.”

The Saudi cabinet then announced on March 16 it would be “reconsidering” its relationship with Stockholm as a result of the row. This was followed three days later by an announcement that Riyadh would stop issuing business visas to Swedish citizens or renewing current visas for those residing in the Kingdom.

On Wednesday, the Swedish government met for talks with the country’s business leaders, who are concerned the spat could damage their interests in Saudi Arabia and the wider Arab world.

Sweden exported some 1.3 billion US dollars’ worth of goods to Saudi Arabia in 2014, according to the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. Swedish companies currently operating in the Kingdom include car maker Volvo, global clothes chain H&M, and furniture retailer IKEA, among others.

Andreas Åström, the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce’s communications director, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday the current visa ban was already damaging the interests of more than 300 business leaders from Sweden with businesses or investments in the Kingdom.

Even before the row began, Swedish business leaders, including those from Volvo and H&M, called on the Swedish government earlier this month not to cause problems with Riyadh, following Stockholm’s decision to cancel an ongoing defense agreement between the two countries.

Leif Johansson, the chairman of Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson, warned that tensions with Saudi Arabia could lead to further damage to Swedish interests in the Arab world, warning Stockholm not “to make an enemy of the Arab League.”


Swedish King moves to contain diplomatic rift with Saudi Arabia
 
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Ah well, the missteps of foreign dignitaries are interesting sometimes. You often have to walk on eggshells when engaging in these types of diplomatic situations. The thing that surprises me most is the pull that Saudi Arabia has on a country like Sweden. They deal in multi billion dollar businesses apparently.
 
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BREAKING: [HASHTAG]#Swedish[/HASHTAG] government offers its apology for crisis in relations with [HASHTAG]#SaudiArabia[/HASHTAG]
 
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Sweden's in a heck of a lot of trouble. If Saudia Arabia isn't happy there's not much good coming their way.
 
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I really wish the rest of the world would rally behind Sweden. Countries condemn ISIS but have no problem selling weapons to Saudi Arabia. The hypocrisy is astonishing.
 

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