Archive for Sweden
North Korea has detained another US citizen, bringing to 3 the number of Americans held in the country amid increasing tensions between Washington and Pyongyang. The Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang Sunday confirmed the detainment of the US citizen but did not elaborate on the matter. However, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, citing unnamed sources, reported on the same day that a Korean-American man was arrested Friday at Pyongyang’s international airport. According to the agency, the man in his fifties identified only by his surname Kim was trying to leave the country when North Korean police arrested him. Kim has been involved in aid and relief programs to North Korea and formerly worked as professor at the Yanbian University of Science and Technology in China which has a sister university in Pyongyang. North Korea has at least two other Americans in its prisons. Last year in January, Otto Warmbier, who was 21 at the time of his arrest, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in prison after he confessed to trying to steal a propaganda banner.
The Chinese embassy in Sweden on Friday recommended Chinese citizens to make efforts toward tightening security and abstain from visiting public places after the truck incident in Stockholm earlier in the day. “The embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Sweden advises China’s citizens to tighten security measures … not to visit public places and go outside in the night where possible,” the statement read. There is no information about any Chinese citizens being affected by the incident. According to Swedish media reports, at least one person was killed and dozens more injured when a truck rammed into a crowd on a major pedestrian street in the Swedish capital.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.