STOCKHOLM, March 15 (Reuters) – In a few months, Sweden’s minority government has managed to antagonise both Israel and the Arab world, while also angering business leaders at home as Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom steadfastly pursues human rights and feminism.
Wallstrom’s agenda, and the criticism it has drawn, has exposed a struggle over Sweden’s identity and whether it should become what some politicians call a “moral great power”, or prioritise security and an export-led economy.
After Sweden cancelled a defence cooperation accord with Saudi Arabia last week over rights concerns, the Arab League condemned Wallstrom and blocked her from giving a speech in Cairo. Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador from Stockholm; hundreds of millions of dollars in business are threatened.
Wallstrom, a former EU commissioner, promised a “feminist” foreign policy when her Social Democrats formed the coalition government last October. Since then, she has described the flogging of a liberal Saudi blogger as “medieval”, winning praise from many commentators for standing up to the kingdom.
“I won’t back down over my statements on women’s rights, democracy and that one shouldn’t flog bloggers,” Wallstrom said, referring to sentencing of Raif Badawi to 1,000 lashes. “I have nothing to be ashamed of”…
…”The Swedish brand, as a reliable partner who you can talk to, has been badly hurt,” said Sven Hirdman, a former Swedish ambassador to Moscow.
How stupid is this woman anyway? Does she even read the news? Does she really think the Saudis are going to change because of her opinions? The left is impossible in their self-righteousness.