Saudi Arabia recalls ambassador from Sweden as rift widens

The Saudi embassy in Stockholm

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Saudi Arabia has recalled its ambassador from Sweden, widening a diplomatic rift between two countries with sharply contrasting views on everything from women’s rights to criminal justice.

The move comes after Sweden refused to renew a 10-year-old weapons deal with Saudi Arabia and the Saudis blocked the Swedish foreign minister from giving a speech to the Arab League.

Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesman Gabriel Wernstedt said Wednesday that the Saudis were recalling their ambassador because of “Sweden’s criticism regarding human rights and democracy” in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

The official Saudi Press Agency reported that the Saudi Foreign Ministry recalled its diplomat because it considered remarks by Sweden’s foreign minister about the kingdom as “blatant interference it its internal affairs”…