Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and his Swedish counterpart Ann Linde agreed, on Monday, in a phone call, to restore relations between their countries, in a move that ends seven years of estrangement, according to Hebrew media.
Lapid tweeted, “I spoke with Anne Linde, the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs.”
Lapid pointed out that “this phone call is the first between the foreign ministers of the two countries, which symbolizes the re-launch of relations at this level.”
In a second tweet, Lapid said in the same context, “I appreciate her (Swedish minister’s) statement regarding Sweden’s strong commitment to Israel’s security and recognition as the national home of the Jewish people.”
“I look forward to a fruitful cooperation with Sweden,” he added.
The Israeli minister did not specify who initiated the call, but the Hebrew media, including the (private) Maariv newspaper, reported that Lapid was from his Swedish counterpart’s phone.
Maariv said that Lapid announced that he had two phone conversations with Swedish Minister Anne Linde.
She added, “After these two talks and after several days of coordination between the two parties, the renewal of relations between the two countries was announced, ending 7 years of political stalemate in relations.”
Meanwhile, Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper (privately) reported that the conversation between Lapid and the Swedish minister took place on the eve of Yom Kippur (a holy day for Jews), and the two spoke again on Monday morning.
The newspaper pointed out that the announcement of the return of relations ends a 7-year political crisis.
The Eastern Herald was not able to obtain a comment from Sweden about the Israeli announcement of the return of relations with it.
The deterioration in the relations of the two countries began in October 2014, when the Swedish Foreign Minister at the time, Margot Wallstrom, stated that the government had taken the decision to recognize the state of Palestine, in a decision that the Palestinians described as “historic,” and Israel considered it “unfortunate.”
Since that recognition, Tel Aviv has severed its relationship with Stockholm and prevented Swedish foreign ministers from entering its territory.