(September 20, 2021 / JNS) Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spoke with his Swedish counterpart, Ann Linde, in the first such conversation between the two countries’ top diplomats in nearly seven years.
“I spoke with @AnnLinde, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden. This phone conversation, the first in 7 years between the Foreign Ministers of our countries, symbolizes the relaunching of relations at this level,” Lapid wrote on Twitter.
Lapid said he appreciated her “strong and solid commitment to Israel’s security,” as well as the recognition as Israel as the “homeland of the Jewish people.”
Linde also tweeted that she a “good talk” with Lapid and that it was an “opportunity for me to wish him Shana Tova & emphasize the importance of our bilateral relationship.”
“Both of us stressed that friendship & cooperation can & must go hand with respect for each other’s convictions & differences,” she wrote.
I spoke with @AnnLinde , the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden. This phone conversation, the first in 7 years between the Foreign Ministers of our countries, symbolizes the relaunching of relations at this level. pic.twitter.com/TmHRFm8wNn
— יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid???? (@yairlapid) September 20, 2021
Very good talk with Israeli colleague Yair Lapid. Opportunity for me to wish him Shana Tova & emphasise the importance of our bilateral relationship. Both of us stressed that friendship & cooperation can & must go hand with respect for each other's convictions & differences.(1/3) pic.twitter.com/HWHAst45Ka
— Ann Linde (@AnnLinde) September 15, 2021
In recent years, Sweden has been one of the most vocally critical countries of Israel in the European Union.
In 2014, Sweden became the first E.U. state to recognize Palestinian statehood. Under former Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, who stepped down in 2019, ties between the two countries saw a sharp deterioration, particularly when she accused Israel of carrying out “extrajudicial killings” against Palestinian terrorists, in addition to a November 2015 statement in the wake of terror attacks in Paris when she blamed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as one of the factors why “there are so many people who have become radicalized.”
Lapid and Linde also discussed Israel’s participation in the Malmo International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism scheduled to be held in October.
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