Israel TV2 Reports: Netanyahu declines meeting with Swedish Prime Minister, again

According to an Israel TV 2 news report on Saturday evening, P.M. Netanyahu, for the second year in a row, refused an invitation for a sit-down meeting with Sweden’s P.M. Lofven, citing ‘scheduling conflicts’.

By i24NEWS


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly declined a meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven on the sidelines of next week’s United Nations General Assembly in New York, reportedly in part due to the country’s recognition of a Palestinian state and past criticisms of Israel.

Swedish Prime Minister in meeting with Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accompanied him. – Photo: Wikimedia

According to a Channel 2 television report on Saturday, Netanyahu turned down a sit-down meeting with Lofven citing scheduling conflicts.

It is the second year in a row that Netanyahu has snubbed the Swedish leader’s invitation, the report said.

Netanyahu, who will address the General Assembly on Tuesday, is expected to meet on the sidelines of the event with US President Donald Trump, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Brazilian President Michel Temer, Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela and Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Israel has had a rocky relationship with Sweden since 2014, when the country’s parliament voted in favor of recognizing an independent Palestinian state.

Margot Wallström, who supports Hamas. – Photos: Wikimedia Commons

Relations between Israel and Sweden have also been strained by a number of controversial statements by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom relating to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Following the November 13 attacks in Paris in 2015, Wallstrom asserted that the attacks were rooted in the frustration of Muslims in the Middle East, including that of Palestinians.”

In December 2015, she criticized Israel before the Swedish parliament for what she claimed were extrajudicial executions of Palestinian attackers.

Israel called the accusation “scandalous, surreal, impudent, and detached from reality.”

Sweden recognized Palestinian statehood on October 30, 2014 in a move that was widely criticized by Israel.


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