Photo: Issam Rimawi / AP.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Issam Rimawi / AP.

Police prepare for visit from Palestinian President

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to begin his visit to Sweden this afternoon, at the invitation of the Swedish government, and this has prompted increased security measures from police in Stockholm.

Speaking with Swedish Radio Fredrik Ståhle, the acting police commissioner who is responsible for the escort during Abbas' visit, said the police face several challenges.

"We have a main route, and then we have a number of alternatives we can take in case there is traffic. If there is an attack, we have a plan for that too," he said.

Ståhle said that the Stockholm public would be affected when Abbas is transported between different addresses because roads would be closed off. Even pedestrians and cyclists will be affected by the security measures. In total between 100 and 150 police would be committed to carrying out security measures related to Abbas' visit during the next two days.

One of the first things the Swedish government did after being elected in the fall was to say they would recognize Palestine as a state, making Sweden the first country to do so as an EU member.

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