Israel condemns 'impudent' remarks by Swedish FM

AFP , Monday 16 Nov 2015

Margot Wallstrom
Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallstrom gives a statement to media regarding the attacks in Paris, in Stockholm, Sweden November 14, 2015.(Photo : Reuters)

Israel on Monday criticised "appallingly impudent" remarks by Sweden's foreign minister for drawing a parallel between the Paris attacks and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The foreign ministry also summoned the Swedish ambassador "for clarification", a statement said.

A day after Friday's Paris attacks claimed by the Islamic State group, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said that the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a factor of radicalisation in the Middle East.

"The Swedish foreign minister's statements are appallingly impudent," the statement said, quoting the foreign ministry spokesman.

"Whoever fatuously attempts to create a link between radical Islamist attacks and the current problems between Israel and the Palestinians is fooling himself, his people and international public opinion," it added.

Wallstrom made her remarks on Sweden's state television.

Asked if Sweden and other countries should worry about the rise of extremism, she said: "Yes, it is clear that we have reasons to worry... to see that there are so many people who have become radicalised.

"And once again we return to situations like that in the Middle East, especially (concerning) Palestinians who think: there is no future for us, we must accept a desperate situation or resort to violence."

It was not the first time that Wallstrom has drawn a parallel between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the bolstering of radical movements in the Middle East.

Last year, after Sweden's recognition of the state of Palestine infuriated Israel, Wallstrom said: "We want to contribute to creating more hope and belief in the future among young Palestinians and Israelis who might otherwise run the risk of radicalisation in the belief that there is no alternative to the current situation."

Israel's foreign ministry said Wallstrom "has consistently demonstrated bias against Israel and exhibits genuine hostility when she indicates a connection of any kind between the terrorist attacks in Paris and the complex situation between Israel and the Palestinians".

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