Anti-Israel Swedish FM to step down

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom announces she will resign from her post to spend more time with her family.

Elad Benari, Canada,

Margot Wallstrom
Margot Wallstrom
Reuters

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, who is notorious for her anti-Israel statements, announced on Friday she would resign from her post to spend more time with her family, Reuters reports.

“I have put everything I have into the job of making Sweden safe, respected internationally and appreciated as a partner,” Wallstrom said in a statement quoted by Reuters. “It is time for me to spend more time with my husband, my children and my grandchildren.”

The government said Wallstrom had said she wanted to leave her post soon, but did not specify when she would leave.

Wallstrom is remembered for her tense relations with Israel and its elected officials while in office.

In 2014, then-Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman denounced Sweden’s decision to recognize the Palestinian Authority (PA) as "the State of Palestine", saying that “relations in the Middle East are a lot more complex than the self-assembly furniture of IKEA”.

Wallstrom later replied and said she would be “happy” to send Liberman some IKEA furniture “and he will also see that what you need to put that together is, first of all, a partner.”

Following that incident, Wallstrom accused Israel of being “extremely aggressive” and accused the Jewish state of “irritating its allies”.

In December of 2015, she attacked Israel again, claiming during a debate in parliament that Israel was “executing” without trial terrorists who carried out stabbing attacks in Israel.

Several weeks before that, the Swedish minister provoked a firestorm of criticism, when she appeared to blame the terrorist attacks in Paris on "Palestinian frustration" with Israel.

In 2016, Wallstrom was refused meetings with Israeli ministers during her visit to the region. She did visit Ramallah, where PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas decorated her with an award he calls the Grand Star of the Order of Jerusalem.

Wallstrom also angered Saudi Arabia in 2015, when she criticized as “medieval” the Saudi punishment of a liberal blogger by flogging.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




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