Sweden’s foreign minister believes that Israel has over-reacted to her government’s recognition of Palestinian statehood and that the Jewish state’s response has irritated many of its close allies.
“It is unacceptable how they have been talking about us and everybody else,” Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom told the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. “It has irritated not only us, but the Americans and everyone who has anything to do with them right now.”
Sweden, under newly elected socialist Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, recently became the first European Union country to recognize Palestinian statehood. The move prompted Israel to recall its ambassador from the country. Since then, lawmakers in other European countries, including France, the U.K., Ireland, and Spain, have symbolically voted to recognize a Palestinian state.
Wallstrom said Sweden still supports Israel, but believes that Israel’s policies have been “extremely aggressive.”
“They have continued with their settlement policies, they have continued demolitions, they have continued with their occupation policies which entail a humiliation of Palestinians, which makes the [peace] process difficult,” she said.
Wallstrom was scheduled to visit Israel this week, but postponed her trip due to “scheduling reasons.” Swedish radio quoted an Israeli foreign ministry official as saying that Wallstrom would not receive an official welcome in Israel.