UAE summons Swedish ambassador
The move was taken in protest against Swedish foreign minister’s statements deemed critical of Saudi Arabia
The United Arab Emirates summoned the Swedish ambassador in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to protest against recent comments made by Stockholm that were deemed offensive to Saudi Arabia.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash, in statements carried by state news agency WAM, expressed “the UAE’s extreme condemnation of the statements made by the foreign minister of Sweden to the Swedish Parliament regarding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its judicial system.”
The minister said “these statements violate the principle of sovereignty upon which normal relations between states are based and are considered an interference in internal affairs and do not respect the religious and cultural specificities of countries and societies.”
Saudi Arabia had recalled its ambassador to Sweden last Wednesday, accusing Stockholm of “flagrant interference” in its internal affairs.
“An official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that due to the offensive remarks made by Sweden's Foreign Minister against the Kingdom, the Kingdom considered these remarks as a blatant interference in its internal affairs,” Saudi official news agency SPA reported.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) last week denounced remarks by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem criticizing the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia.
These statements constitute a “flagrant interference in the kingdom's internal affairs,” the GCC said in a statement last Thursday.