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Diplomatic Crisis

Frattini Demands Condemnation of Swedish Article

Published måndag 31 augusti 2009 kl 16.30
Demonstrators outside the Swedish embassy in Tel Aviv

Italy’s foreign minister Franco Frattini has demanded that the EU condemn the Swedish article on Israeli soldiers allegedly harvesting Palestinian body organs. Speaking to Israeli daily Haaretz, Frattini said the article published in the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet two weeks ago was a flagrant example of Anti-Semitism.

Frattini also announced that he and his Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt had agreed that the 27 EU foreign ministers would condemn the report during their informal meeting in Stockholm at the end of this week. But Bildt has rejected such a claim as a “misunderstanding”.

Meanwhile, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has told news agency TT he intended to explain his government’s position on this issue. A condemnation would not possible though as this would infringe upon Sweden’s constitution guaranteeing the freedom of the press.

The Aftonbladet article had sparked a diplomatic crisis between Sweden and Israel with Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Liberman demanding an apology by the Swedish government. (ah)

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