Swedish foreign minister cancels trip to Israel

Margot Wallstrom, Sweden’s minister for foreign affairs, in her office on October 31, 2014, in Stockholm. (photo credit: AFP/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND)

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has indefinitely postponed a planned trip to Israel, a spokesman said Wednesday, amid an apparent cooling of relations between the two countries since Sweden recognized Palestine.

“The foreign minister has decided to postpone her visit to Israel and Palestine. Instead of next week it will take place later. No date is yet decided,” Margot Wallström’s spokesman Erik Boman told AFP.

Sweden’s decision to recognize the state of Palestine in late October prompted Israel to recall its ambassador to Stockholm, Isaac Bachman. He returned a month later.

In December, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said he would boycott the visit by his Swedish counterpart after Stockholm became the first major European Union member state to back Ramallah’s statehood bid.

The foreign minister indicated that Sweden had intentionally obscured its plan to recognize a Palestinian state, and refused to hear any Israeli arguments opposing the motion…