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Sweden's foreign minister cancels visit to Israel

Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wahlstrom cancelled her visit to Israel after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said they would not meet her following the diplomatic crisis that had erupted between the two sides since Stockholm's recognition of the state of Palestine.

In the wake of the recognition of Palestine by Sweden, Lieberman announced he would boycott his Swedish counterpart, saying that Stockholm abandoned Israel just as the European countries had abandoned Czechoslovakia through the agreement between Munich and the Nazis in 1938.

Wahlstrom was scheduled to visit Israel in mid-January to participate in a ceremony commemorating Swedish diplomat Raoul Folenberg who saved Jews during the Holocaust. Swedish officials made contact with Netanyahu's office regarding holding a meeting between with Wahlstrom, they did not receive a positive response.

As a result, the Swedish Foreign Ministry announced the postponement of the visit. "The foreign minister has decided to postpone her visit to Israel and Palestine. Instead of next week it will take place later. No date is yet decided," Wahlstrom's spokesman Erik Boman said.

Israel has expressed outrage at the announcement made by the Swedish government last November about its recognition of the State of Palestine. Following the Swedish announcement, Israel recalled its ambassador to Stockholm, he returned three weeks later.

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