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Israel 'not happy' at Abbas invite to Sweden

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Israel 'not happy' at Abbas invite to Sweden
US Secretary of State meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Jordan, in November 2014. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/TT
10:08 CET+01:00
Israel's ambassador has sharply criticised Sweden for inviting President Mahmoud Abbas to Stockholm next month, citing it as further evidence of the “energetic pro-Palestinian line” the country's government has taken since coming to power after September's election.
“It does not make us happy to see Abu Mazin (Mahmoud Abbas) here on a visit to this completely new government which very rapidly decided to recognise Palestine,” Isaac Bachman told TT newswire. 
 
The Swedish government announced on Friday that Abbas would visit Stockholm on February 10 on the invitation of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. 
 
In Stockholm, he will meet foreign minister Margot Wallström, King Carl Gustaf XVI, and Archbishop Antje Jackelén. 
 
The honours to be showered on Abbas are a sharp contrast to the diplomatic snub Wallström suffered earlier this month from Israel. 
 
Wallström, who has held leadership positions in the European Commission and United Nations, was forced to postpone a planned trip to Israel because the country’s government refused to arrange any official meetings for her, apparently in retaliation for her government’s decision to recognise Palestine in October. 
 
After Sweden announced its decision last year, Israel recalled Bachman for a month in protest. 
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