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Sun 29 Mar 2015 11:45 AM

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Sweden apologises to Saudi Arabia over diplomatic spat

King and prime minister have each written affectionate letters to King Salman in a bid to restore ties

Sweden apologises to Saudi Arabia over diplomatic spat
Image source: www.crossed-flag-pins.com

Sweden's king and prime
minister have each written affectionate letters to Saudi King Salman in a bid
to restore diplomatic ties between the two countries, according to local media.

Carl XVI Gustaf stressed the depth of bilateral relations and his keenness on
ensure they continue.

Prime Minister Stefan Loefven also expressed
deep sorrow and regret over the crisis, stressing the keenness of his
government to maintain bilateral relations.

Loefven said his government looked forward to
welcoming the return of the Saudi ambassador to Stockholm and to enhance the
relations between the two countries.

The letters were delivered by Bjoern von Sydow,
former Swedish defense minister and special envoy of Sweden, during a meeting
with King Salman at Al Oja Palace at Diriyah on Friday evening, the Saudi

King Salman reportedly sent his greetings to
Sweden’s king and prime minister in return but his response to the letters was
not made public.

Riyadh recalled its ambassador on March 11,
angry at Sweden’s “flagrant interference” in its affairs.

The rift stems from
comments made by Swedish
Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem criticising Saud Arabia's human rights

Wallstroem's comments
defending human rights and women's rights globally also have caused anger at
home, with businesses fearing it will affect their trade with some countries,
including wealthy Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

However, Wallstroem
appeared comforted by the receipt of the letters.

“I’m very pleased that we can
resume our normal diplomatic ties,” she reportedly said in Stockholm.

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salman 5 years ago

It is a personal act from her Excellency the foreign minister, but the relation between the two governments is solid and strong and the people of two countries don’t have any hard feelings.