Mahmoud Abbas meets Swedish government

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with representatives from the Swedish government Tuesday, as well as King Carl Gustaf.

This is his first visit to Sweden following the government's decision to recognise Palestine as a state. Details of the visit are being mostly kept under wraps for security reasons, but Abbas and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven held a joint press conference this afternoon.

Löfven announced that Sweden has promised to give Palestine 1.5 billion Swedish kronor in development assistance over the next four years, and Löfven added that Sweden had higher expectations on the country, after the Swedish recognition.

"I have asked President Abbas to be as constructive as possible", Löfven said, "I've also asked him to act with respect for Israel's security, and for continued intra-Palestinian reconciliation."

Abbas began his visit last night with talks with archbishop Antje Jackelén, the head of the Swedish church. They discussed the rights of Christians in the Middle East as well as problems with Islamophobia and Antisemitism in Europe, news agency TT reports.

The new Palestinian Embassy in Stockholm is to be opened this evening.