Sweden’s king ‘worried’ about Saudi row

Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf is worried about his country’s diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia and has offered to give his two cents in helping Sweden find a solution to the problem. Next week, he will meet Foreign Minister Margot Wallström to discuss the row.

Sweden’s king ‘worried’ about Saudi row
Swedish King Carl Gustaf pictured in September 2014. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer / TT

The king is seemingly distressed about Sweden’s escalating spat with Saudi Arabia. The row began when Saudi Arabia blocked Wallström’s speech on democracy and human rights as a guest of honour addressing the Arab League, and resulted in Sweden limiting its military ties with the Saudis.

Tensions heightened when Saudi Arabia responded by recalling its ambassador to Stockholm and announced it would not issue any new visas for Swedish business people.

On Saturday, the royal palace announced that the king would meet Sweden’s top diplomat on Monday “to help contribute in finding a solution to the situation”.

The king also said that: “It’s important to have a good dialogue and good relations between countries,” but noted that he hadn’t been in contact with the Saudi royals.

Although the meeting has been scheduled for some time, Margareta Thorgren, a spokeswoman for the royal palace, said:

“It’s a good timing for the meeting. The king has a dialogue with the government, but I won’t comment more about what they will talk about.”

The Swedish king primarily serves as a figurehead and has very limited powers.