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.

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.


Jewish News Syndicate

With geographic, political and social divides growing wider, high-quality reporting and informed analysis are more important than ever to keep people connected.

Our ability to cover the most important issues in Israel and throughout the Jewish world—without the standard media bias—depends on the support of committed readers.

If you appreciate the value of our news service and recognize how JNS stands out among the competition, please click on the link and make a one-time or monthly contribution.

We appreciate your support.