Netanyahu refuses meeting with Swedish PM for supporting recognition of Palestinian state

Until his speech on Tuesday at the UN General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with several world leaders, except for the Swedish Prime Minister, most likely due to past remarks he and the Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister made. Meanwhile, Israel and the US are reigniting efforts to change the UN Human Rights Council’s discriminatory attitude towards Israel.
Netanyahu and Stefan Löfven will not be meeting Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

The next few days, in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be speaking at the UN General Assembly and meeting with US President Donald Trump, should have Israel’s foreign policy looking bright. There is a long list of world leaders Netanyahu is expected to meet with on his short visit, however, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven was not lucky enough to be included.

During the half day upon which Netanyahu will hold meetings, he will speak with the leaders of Panama, Japan, Brazil and Rwanda. However, Netanyahu refused to meet with Löfven telling him diplomatically that his schedule was completely booked. This is the second year that Netanyahu has given the Swedish Prime Minister the cold shoulder, most likely due to Löfven’s haste to recognize a Palestinian State shortly after taking office. Another likely cause is that Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Margot Wallström made several harsh remarks during the most recent terror wave, claiming that Israel executes without trial.

Netanyahu's speech at the UN Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Due to the high demand to meet with Netanyahu, he can probably use the carrot and stick approach: the Rwandan President, who is sympathetic to Israel and whose representatives work on behalf of Israel within the UN, will receive a meeting and the Swedes are ignored.

Meanwhile, a new era is rising in regard to the UN’s treatment of Israel thanks to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. Two other powerful countries are joining US efforts to bring an end to the UN Human Rights Council’s discriminatory attitude towards Israel: the UK and Netherlands.

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