Dr. Ashrawi: Sweden is a country of courage and principle


PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi participated in a series of official meetings and events on May 2-4 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Upon the invitation of Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, Dr. Ashrawi participated in the fourth annual Stockholm Forum on Security and Development on May 3 and May 4 which was co-hosted by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. At the Forum, she spoke in high-level panels in which she addressed various issues such as the UN and the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, peacemaking, peace building, human security, human rights, and women’s rights.

On May 3, Dr. Ashrawi met with H.E. Wallström and expressed her appreciation to the Foreign Minister for exhibiting the courage to stand up to Israel and its flagrant violations of international law and speaking against injustice. Dr. Ashrawi also thanked Sweden for voting in favor of the UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem: “It is extremely disturbing that there are European countries that voted against such a resolution even though in accordance with international law and global consensus, Jerusalem is occupied territory.”

Both parties discussed the deteriorating conditions on the ground, including Israel’s expansion of its illegal settlement enterprise, and the importance for the European Union to play a direct and distinctive role in genuine peacemaking.

Moderated by Director of the Swedish Institute of International Affairs Matts Karlsson, Dr. Ashrawi gave a seminar entitled, “Palestine at crossroads” on the afternoon of May 3 at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. Her presentation, which was delivered in the presence of political leaders, diplomats, academics, and activists, focused on recent developments in Palestine, as well as Israel’s destruction of the prospects for peace and stability with its unlawful unilateralism and violations of Palestinian human rights.

Following her seminar, Dr. Ashrawi met with various Arab ambassadors to Sweden, and she gave several press interviews.

In her meeting with State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Annika Söder on May 4, Dr. Ashrawi stressed the significance of Sweden’s recognition of Palestine and how other countries should follow its example to exhibit their commitment to peace and justice.

Both parties discussed the latest political, international and regional developments and Palestine’s latest moves in the international community. The meeting also covered issues of bilateral relations and future cooperation between Palestine and Sweden, and at the end of the meeting, Dr. Ashrawi emphasized the importance of the collective hunger strike of the Palestinian political prisoners and paid tribute to Palestinian prisoners for their continued determination and steadfastness.

Dr. Ashrawi concluded her official visit to Sweden by participating in a working lunch meeting with Swedish Parliamentarians and officials; the meeting participants included Carin Jämtin, Andrine Winther, Krister Örnfjäderm, Jamal Mouneimne, and Emilia Töyrä.

Dr. Ashrawi was accompanied by Palestinian Ambassador to Sweden Hala Fariz to all of her events and meetings.

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