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Israel to Withdraw Ambassador to Sweden

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman responds to Swedish recognition of 'Palestine' by recalling ambassador to Stockholm

Ari Soffer,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has recalled Israel's ambassador to Sweden Isaac Bachman Thursday, following the Swedish government's decision to officially recognize "Palestine" as a state.

Stockholm's foreign minister announced the decision to recognize the Palestinian Authority (PA) as "the State of Palestine," less than a month after the government announced its intention to make the controversial move.

Liberman issued a withering statement in response, accusing the Swedish government of being unable to grasp the intricacies of Middle Eastern geopolitics.

"The decision of the Swedish government to recognize a Palestinian state is a deplorable decision which only strengthens extremist elements and Palestinian rejectionism," Israel's top diplomat said in a statement.

"It is a shame that the Swedish government chose to take this declarative step which causes a lot of harm and offers no advantage," he said,

In a dig at Stockholm's left-wing government, he added: "The Swedish government must understand that relations in the Middle East are a lot more complex than the self-assembly furniture of IKEA and that they have to act with responsibility and sensitivity."

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon told AFP about the decision, saying "this indeed reflects our irritation and annoyance at this unhelpful decision which does not contribute to a return to negotiations."




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