Published On: Tue, Dec 13th, 2016

Benjamin Netanyahu to boycott Swedish FM Margot Wallstrom During Her visit this week

Top Israeli officials have no time for Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, a vocal critic of Israel, on her visit in Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Thursday,
 Sweden Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom

The Israeli government and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said NO to the Swedish government when it asked last week to arrange meetings between its Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom and Netanyahu, who is also Israel’s foreign minister, and other government officials. The answer read: The Israeli officials have no time for her. Wallstrom will arrive in Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Thursday.

The Swedish Foreign Minister, however, is determined to go ahead with her planned visit and will meet with officials in the Palestinian Authority.

Wallström, a vocal critic of Israel, is visiting ahead of Sweden’s two-year term on the UN Security Council, which starts on January 1st.

In November 2015, Wallstrom accused Israel of conducting extrajudicial executions of Palestinians committing terror attacks. She sees a connection between Islamist terrorism in Europe and the hopeless situation of the Palestinians.

The Swedish UN envoy is expected to serve as the Security Council’s rotating president next month. This role has particular importance in view of the Palestinians’ plan to bring a resolution condemning the Jewish settlements before the council in early January.

This isn’t the first time Wallström has planed a visit to the region. In January 2015 she cancelled one after Israeli officials gave her the cold shoulder then too.

The bad relationship between the two countries started back in October 2014, when the newly installed government in Stockholm recognized Palestine as an independent state.

Since then, Wallström has called the Israeli government extremely aggressive, and claimed that Israeli rhetoric had crossed all limits.

The Swedish government is considered the most hostile to Israel among the European governments. Stockholm is pushing to get the EU’s Council of Foreign Ministers to issue instructions for labeling settlement products throughout Europe.

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