Swedish minister says Saudis blocked speech to Arab League
STOCKHOLM - Agence France-Presse
Saudi Arabia has blocked a plan for Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom to address the League of Arab States in Cairo on Monday in a protest over criticism of its human rights record, a Swedish foreign ministry spokesman said. REUTERS Photo.Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom says Saudi Arabia has blocked her from speaking to an Arab League meeting in Cairo.
Wallstrom was invited to address the meeting on Monday but told Sweden’s public radio her speech was canceled because of Saudi protests.
She said “they have reacted strongly to what we have said about democracy and human rights.”
Wallstrom was among those who expressed outrage at the recent flogging of a Saudi blogger convicted of insulting Islam. She has also criticized the women’s rights situation in the deeply conservative kingdom.
Wallstrom told Swedish Radio in Cairo she was disappointed that her speech was canceled and that “it has also put the Arab League in a difficult situation since it means that a country can block an event of this kind.”