UAE recalls envoy to Sweden

March 19, 2015 01:04

STOCKHOLM- The United Arab Emirates has recalled its ambassador to Sweden, a Swedish government source with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday, a week after Saudi Arabia took the same step.

The moves by the two Gulf Arab states reflect growing tension with Stockholm after Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot 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.

Sweden last week also cancelled a long-standing defense cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia. That followed Saudi Arabia's decision to block a speech due to be given by Wallstrom to the Arab League this week.

The United Arab Emirates state news agency WAM later confirmed that the UAE had recalled its envoy.

It said the Swedish ambassador had been summoned for a protest regarding statements by Wallstrom against Saudi Arabia that "violate the principle of sovereignty upon which the normal relations between countries are based".

The Swedish Foreign Ministry declined to comment on Wednesday on the UAE envoy, referring questions to Wallstrom's spokesman who was not immediately available for comment.

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