Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallstrom, said that combating Islamist extremism that led to tragic occurrences such as Paris attacks could only be stopped through tackling hopelessness of people in the Middle East in her interview with Sweden’s SVT television.
She especially referred to Palestinians who are unable to see any future and are constantly pushed to desperate acts of violence.
“To counteract the radicalisation we must go back to the situation such as the one in the Middle East of which not the least the Palestinians see that there is no future: we must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence,”
Israel immediately claimed that Wallstrom’s comments are particularly meant to link the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to Paris attacks.
However, Sweden’s embassy in Israel denied such accusations and said that, “Sweden FM has not said that Israeli Palestinian conflict is linked to tragic events in Paris. Sweden condemns all acts of terrorism.”
As for Wallstrom’s response, she condemned Friday’s attacks in a post to the Swedish Foreign Ministry website calling them acts of terrorism targeting democracy.
“They must and will be met with resolve; terrorism must be opposed and those responsible must be called to account.”
She also urged for the “need to tackle the underlying causes of terrorism,” through a “long-term approach”.
Finally, she called for united international efforts to fight extremism and fanaticism: “Together we must stand up for democracy and for humanistic values,” she concluded.
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