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Arab states condemn Sweden's FM after anti-Saudi Arabia statement; cancelling controversial military deal

• Israel protests Sweden's move to recognize Palestinian State

Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström is being slammed by Arab foreign ministers after anti-Saudi Arabia statements.

 

“The ministers have voiced their condemnation and astonishment at the issuance of such statements that are incompatible with the fact that the Constitution of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is based on Sharia,” a statement issued by the ministers at the end of their Arab League meeting in Cairo said. “Sharia has guaranteed human rights and preserved people’s lives, possessions, honour and dignity. The ministers consider the comments as irresponsible and unacceptable,” the Arab League statement said.

Saudi Arabia has blocked the speech of the Swedish foreign minister at an Arab League meeting due to the criticism she has leveled at Riyadh over its human rights violations.

“The explanation we have been given is that Sweden has highlighted the situation for democracy and human rights and that is why they do not want me to speak,” Wallström told news agency TT in Cairo. “It’s a shame that a country has blocked my participation.”

She had been invited after Sweden became the first EU country officially to recognise Palestine.

Financial Times said that Sweden is cancelling a controversial military deal with Saudi Arabia a day after an unusually frank diplomatic bust-up between the two countries over human rights. Swedish companies last year exported SKr338m ($40m) of defence equipment to Saudi Arabia. Reuters said the cancelled agreement had brought in SKr4.8bn for Swedish companies between 2011 and 2014.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 11 March 2015 01:07)

 

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