Sweden cancels Saudi arms deal after human rights row

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Oct 3, 2009
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Sweden has ended a military deal with Saudi Arabia over human rights issues. The break comes after the Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström was allegedly prevented from making a speech at an Arab League meeting.
Sweden announced that it would not be renewing its military cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia, effectively ending the 10- year-old defense ties due to mounting concerns over rights issues. "It will be broken off," Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said on Swedish public radio. The Social Democrat premier's comments came a day after Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström accused Saudi Arabia of blocking her speech at an Arab League meeting in Cairo. The government made the official announcement Tuesday evening about the termination of the trade agreement, which includes the export of military arms to Saudi Arabia.

Speech row

Relations between the two countries have grown frosty in the last 24 hours after Wallström said Riyadh had stopped her from making her opening address to the meeting on Monday because of her stance on human rights. Wallström had been invited as an honorary guest to the Arab ministers' meeting in praise of her government's decision to recognize Palestine in October. Her cancelled opening speech - published by the Swedish foreign ministry - mentioned neither Saudi Arabia nor Wallström's feminist foreign policy agenda but stressed women's and human rights.

Read more:
Sweden cancels Saudi arms deal after human rights row | Business | DW.DE | 10.03.2015

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