D-G Prosor stressed that Sweden’s "declaring that Israel does not seek peace puts its credibility at risk."

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman’s Office)

Foreign Ministry Director-General Ron Prosor today (Thursday, 27 April 2006) summoned Swedish Ambassador Robert Rydberg and expressed Israel’s protest at Sweden’s withdrawal from an international air force exercise to be held in Italy next month, under the pretext that Israel is not qualified to participate because it is not peace seeking.

D-G Prosor stressed that Sweden’s "declaring that Israel does not seek peace puts its credibility at risk." He added that, given such a worrisome position, doubt arises as to Sweden’s ability to play a significant role in the peace process in future.

Prosor also expressed Israel’s deep concern over reports reaching Jerusalem that Sweden intends to grant entrance visas to a number of Hamas activists. He pointed out that such a step — which would be the first of its kind by a European country — is liable to be interpreted throughout the world as giving approval to terrorism and to terrorist organizations.