World, Middle East, Europe

Israeli officials decline to meet visiting Swedish FM

Move reportedly due to visiting diplomat’s pro-Palestine stance

13.12.2016
Israeli officials decline to meet visiting Swedish FM File photo

By Anees Barghouti

JERUSALEM

Israeli government officials will not meet with Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom during the latter’s visit to the region later this week due to her pro-Palestine positions, Israeli media reported Tuesday.

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- who also currently holds the post of foreign minister -- has voiced his refusal to meet with Wallstrom during her scheduled visit on Thursday.

"No other [Israeli] government officials will meet with her, so essentially she will only be visiting the Palestinian Authority," Haaretz reported.

A senior Foreign Ministry official told the newspaper that Wallstrom had been informed that meetings with Netanyahu and other Israeli government officials would not be possible due to scheduling conflicts.

"But the real reason, he [the Foreign Ministry official] said, was the government's unhappiness with Sweden's policy on the Israeli-Palestinian issue in general and the Swedish FM’s own statements in particular," according to Haaretz.

The Israel-Sweden relationship reached a low point in October of 2014 following a Swedish government decision to recognize the state of Palestine.

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