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Archive for Sweden

Newsline: Swedish Embassy asks the US to explain Trump comment on Sweden

Swedish Embassy in Washington asked US President Donald Trump to clarify what he meant when he alluded to a major security event that recently took place in the Scandinavian nation, local media reported Sunday. Speaking in Florida about a rise in terror attacks in Europe on Saturday, Trump referred to Sweden, who had taken in large numbers of refugees, saying “When you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden.” “We want clarity on what it was about. We are wondering what he referred to,” Swedish Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Catarina Axelsson told the local TT news agency. The remark caused confusion in Swedish media, with some outlets publishing lists of what could have possibly gone wrong in the country on that day. It has also brought to life #LastNightInSweden hashtag mocking the comment and rapidly gaining popularity in Twittersphere.


Newsline: Israel summons Swedish ambassador over Palestinian state

Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s office said on Sunday that it will summon the Swedish ambassador to protest the decision of newly-elected Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s decision to recognize the Palestinian state. Late on Saturday, Lieberman said in a statement that he ” regrets” that the Swedish Prime Minister “was in a hurry to make statements on Sweden’s position regarding recognition of a Palestinian state, apparently before he had time even to study the issue in depth.” In his inaugural address to parliament on Friday, Lofven said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be resolved by a two- state solution which “requires mutual recognition and the will to co-exist peacefully.” “Sweden will therefore recognize the State of Palestine,” Lofven said, but did not mention how or when it would be done. Israel fears that other major European countries will follow Sweden to recognize a Palestinian state.


Newsline: Assange still stuck in Ecuadoran embassy after Swedish court ruling

Julian Assange lost a court bid to get an arrest warrant against him scrapped, leaving the WikiLeaks founder marooned in the Ecuadoran embassy in London where he sought refuge more than two years ago. The 43-year-old Assange fears extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual molestation, which he denies. At the hearing in Stockholm District Court, prosecutors demanded that the warrant, issued in late 2010, should be upheld to secure Assange’s return to Sweden. They rejected Assange’s suggestion that they question him in London. Assange’s defence team, which had maintained that the investigation had been unreasonably long, said it would appeal the ruling. The WikiLeaks founder sought refuge with Ecuador in June 2012 after exhausting all legal options in British courts to avoid being extradited to Sweden. He has said he fears that his being sent to Sweden would be a pretext for his transfer to the United States, where WikiLeaks sparked an uproar with its publication of thousands of secret documents. Ecuador Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino called the ruling “bad news”. “The government of Ecuador will not abandon its commitment to defend Julian Assange’s human rights until he can get to a safe place,” he said on Twitter. Patino said in June as Assange marked two years since taking refuge there that both international agreements and Ecuador’s constitution made it a “complete impossibility” for the country to turn him over. But Assange’s asylum comes with a large price tag for the British government — the cost of round-the-clock policing reached six million pounds (eight million euros, $11 million) at the two-year mark, Scotland Yard said.


Newsline: Sweden to open embassy in Qatar

Sweden will open an embassy in Doha next month, thereby increasing the number of embassies in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to four. With the opening of its embassy in Qatar, the Swedish embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE, will stop extending the diplomatic mission functions to Qatar. Currently, the embassy in Abu Dhabi serves as the Nordic country’s embassy in three countries — the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain. Implementing a decision taken by the Government of Sweden to expand the country’s diplomatic presence in the region, the Qatar embassy will be used effectively to increase business and diplomatic presence in a happening country that is gearing up to host the World Cup in 2022. Speaking to The Peninsula, Max Bujhr, Sweden’s Ambassador to the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar said the Qatar embassy will be inaugurated before May 30 and the new ambassador will be a female diplomat, who is currently stationed in a South East Asian country. Initially it will be operating from a leased building in Doha.


Newsline: Afghanistan opens embassy in Sweden

Afghanistan opens up its New Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden on 1st April. The Afghanistan’s Embassy will be declared opened by Ershad Ahmadi, Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s deputy foreign minister of Ershad Ahmadi is visiting Sweden on 31 March to 2 April on the occasion of the inauguration of the new Afghan Embassy in Stockholm. Sweden and Afghanistan have had diplomatic relations since the 1930s. Sweden has had an embassy in Kabul for several years and now Afghanistan is opening an embassy in Sweden.


Newsline: Swedish MPs urge end to Julian Assange impasse

Swedish MPs are losing patience with the legal impasse over the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has spent the past 19 months holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. They have urged Swedish prosecutors investigating sexual assault allegations against the Australian to travel to London and question him at the embassy. The MPs said investigators should accept that Mr Assange would not go to Sweden voluntarily. It is the first sign of political unrest in Sweden over the long-running saga. The stand-off between Mr Assange, 42, and Marianne Ny, the prosecutor, began in June 2012 when he took refuge at the embassy, claiming that Sweden would eventually send him for trial in the US for leaking secret documents. The security operation to monitor the embassy is said to be costing the British taxpayer $11 million a year. Mr Assange faces arrest and extradition to Sweden if he leaves the premises. He faces accusations of rape from one woman and sexual assault from another stemming from a visit to Stockholm in 2010. He has said that he would be willing to be interviewed in London. “It is in the interest of everyone involved in this process that the prosecutor reaches a conclusion to either file charges or dismiss the case, and it is obvious that Assange will not come to Sweden,” Staffan Danielsson, from the Centre Party, said. Anders Perklev, the Swedish Prosecutor-General, accused the MPs of crossing a line to attempt to interfere with the course of justice. Anne Ramberg, the secretary-general of the Swedish Bar Association, said: “You have to be a bit pragmatic to put an end to such a circus. They should have headed to London to interrogate him.”


Newsline: Sweden hands children to Malaysian embassy

All the four children of a Malaysian couple who have been placed under the care of a Swedish non-Muslim foster family because their parents are being held under remand in Sweden for alleged abuse of one of the children, were handed over to the Malaysian embassy by the Swedish authorities. All the children were in good health. They were brought from a school to the Malaysian embassy to meet their relatives. The children who asked to be called Aishah, Ammar, Adam and Arif , aged 14, 12, 11 and seven respectively, initially appeared sombre but were a picture of happiness and laughter on meeting their relatives. The Malaysian embassy is taking custody of the children before they are placed under the care of a Malaysian Muslim family residing here. Their parents, Azizul Raheem Awalludin and Shalwati Norshal have agreed to
have their four children transferred to the care of a Muslim family which the Malaysian embassy here had helped to find. Azizul, a Tourism Malaysia director in Stockholm, and his wife, school teacher Shalwati Nurshal who is on unpaid leave, have reportedly been det­ained since Dec 18 after Shalwati allegedly smacked their 12-year-old son on the arm for refusing to perform his prayers.