Human Rights; Cause for Saudi Recalls Ambassador from Sweden

Human Rights; Cause for Saudi Recalls Ambassador from Sweden
Wed Mar 11, 2015 19:58:59

Saudi Arabia has recalled its ambassador from Stockholm after a diplomatic row between the two countries over Swedish criticism of Riyadh's human rights record, Reuters reports.

Saudi Arabia said remarks of Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom is "an interference in its internal affairs" in violation of international covenants and diplomatic conventions.

The official Saudi statement carried by the state news agency SPA did not elaborate. Wallstrom called Saudi Arabia a dictatorship last month and denounced its treatment of women and the flogging of human rights activist and blogger Raif Badawi.

In Stockholm, a spokesman for Wallstrom said: "We have received information that Saudi Arabia has called its ambassador home."

Erik Boman said the reason given for the action was Sweden's criticism of Riyahd's record on human rights and democracy.

On Wednesday, Sweden said it would cancel a long-standing defence cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia. That followed Saudi Arabia's decision to block a speech due to be given by Wallstrom to the League of Arab States earlier this week.

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