While most of the developed west seems sold out to Saudi oil, one country has taken to official level its stand against Saudi treatment of women. It’s Sweden talking about democracy and women’s rights that the Saudi Arabian state finds offensive.
The Independent published in today’s edition a story on why Saudi Arabia called back its ambassador from Sweden. Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom was reportedly blocked by the Saudi officials from speaking about women’s rights and democracy at a recent Arab League meeting in Cairo, Egypt. Even though the name of Saudi Arabia wasn’t mentioned in Wallstrom’s comments, the Saudis took offense to her emphasis on reforms for women’s rights.
The tensions between the two states on official level rose to the level that Sweden broke up an arm deal with Saudi Arabia, which is one of Sweden’s largest arm buyers. Saudi Arabia considers any criticism of its treatment of women or its poor human rights situation interference in its internal affairs.
US President Barack Obama hailed Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, praising him as a reformer, for which a Saudi activist corrected him and other leaders from the west who all compromise on their human rights and liberal ideals when it comes to Saudi Arabia.