December 3, 2022

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SAUDI ARABIA: The Saudis Strike Again

2 min read

TRISTAN WILLENBURG WRITES– Western concepts conflict but once more with Center Jap realities.  Saudi Arabia will not difficulty or renew the visas of Swedish nationals and has withdrawn its ambassador from Stockholm in response to the feedback of a senior Swedish official.  An arms deal between the 2 nations has additionally fallen aside over the problem.

The choice was reportedly a response to Sweden’s international minister, Margot Wallstrom, and her latest criticism of Saudi Arabia’s report of human and girls’s rights in a speech to the Swedish Parliament. Wallstrom has beforehand joined a lot of the western worldwide group in condemning Saudi Arabia’s flogging of blogger Raif Badawi, who was accused and convicted final yr of a number of expenses, together with apostasy.

In January, Wallstrom wrote on Twitter that the flogging was a “merciless try to silence trendy types of expression.” Saudi Arabia accused Wallstrom of “flagrant interference in inner affairs,” in accordance with an official state information assertion, and blocked her from talking to a delegation of Arab leaders.  This led to the present rift between the 2 nations.

This determination to snub the Swedes was surprisingly supported by the Arab League, which remarked that the deliberate speech was “incompatible with the truth that the structure of the dominion of Saudi Arabia relies on sharia [law].” The United Arab Emirates has additionally withdrawn its ambassador to Sweden in assist of Saudi Arabia. It is a step again for the international coverage of Sweden, which was the primary EU nation to acknowledge the Palestinian state.

This transfer may have main financial results since Saudi Arabia is the 18th most vital exporting nation for Sweden with almost 1.3 billion {dollars} in items. Multinational firms like Volvo, H&M, and IKEA conduct enterprise in Saudi Arabia. The visa ban will make it laborious for them to take action, thus impacting their gross sales.  The top of the arms deal was additionally felt in Sweden.  To protest, greater than 30 enterprise leaders composed a letter to the federal government, begging Stockholm to proceed the arms deal and keep Saudi Arabia as a buying and selling companion.

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Canceling the arms deal will most likely damage Sweden greater than the Arabs. However Sweden should still pull off a media win, positioning itself because the mouse that roared in protection of human rights.

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