Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi restores ambassador to Sweden
Select Page
Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf (2nd L) arrives to offer condolences after the death of Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh January 24, 2015. King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz died early on Friday after a short illness.  (Reuters/SPA)

Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf (2nd L) arrives to offer condolences after the death of Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh January 24, 2015. King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz died early on Friday after a short illness. (Reuters/SPA)

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi Arabia has reinstated its ambassador to Sweden after receiving an apology from Stockholm following the recent diplomatic crisis between the two kingdoms.

Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received a letter from Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf in which the Swedish monarch expressed his commitment to bilateral relations between the two countries.

King Salman also received a letter from Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfvén who expressed his “deep sorrow and regret” over the diplomatic crisis between the two countries. Löfvén stressed Stockholm’s commitment to maintaining good relations between the two countries.

The diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia and Sweden erupted following comments by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom over the independence of the Saudi judiciary. Wallstrom criticized the Saudi court’s conviction of blogger Raif Badawi and questioned the independence of the Kingdom’s judicial authorities, prompting Riyadh to recall its ambassador from Stockholm in protest to what it deemed foreign interference in its domestic affairs.

Saudi ambassador to Sweden Ibrahim Bin Saad Al-Ibrahim is set to return to Stockholm imminently, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

“I’m very pleased that we can resume our normal diplomatic ties,” local media quoted Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom as saying.

Prime Minister Löfvén’s letter also acknowledged the role of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in protecting Islam and its holy places, according to the SPA.

He affirmed that Sweden is “looking forward” to welcoming the return of Ibrahim amid renewed efforts to “enhance the relations between the two countries according to a dialogue that is based on mutual respect.”