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Swedish foreign minister Wallstrom resigns

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Sweden's foreign minister Margot Wallstrom, whose rights focus and "feminist" diplomatic policy garned both admirers and vocal detractors, announced Friday that she was stepping down from her post to focus on family.

[STOCKHOLM] Sweden's foreign minister Margot Wallstrom, whose rights focus and "feminist" diplomatic policy garned both admirers and vocal detractors, announced Friday that she was stepping down from her post to focus on family.

"The time has come for me to spend more time with my husband, my children and my grandchildren. I have notified the Prime Minister of my wish to leave the government and my post as Minister for Foreign Affairs," Mrs Wallstrom said on Twitter.

Mrs Wallstrom, a veteran of Sweden's Social Democrats, has held the post since 2014 when Prime Minister Stefan Lofven formed his government, launching what she termed a "feminist foreign policy".

The 64-year-old has a long career in both Swedish and international politics, having held positions in the European Commission and as the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

sentifi.com

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During the first few years of her tenure as foreign minister she also ruffled some feathers.

In one of her first moves as foreign minister, Mrs Wallstrom enraged Israel by announcing Sweden's recognition of a Palestinian state.

She then angered Israel again by calling for "thorough" investigations into the Israeli army's killing of Palestinians, which she has termed "extrajudicial killings," leading to Israel declaring her persona non grata.

Sweden's diplomatic ties with Riyadh were also frozen in 2015 after she called Saudi Arabia a "dictatorship" and slammed it for human rights abuses.

Born in 1954 in northern Sweden into a modest family, she became politically active as a teenager in the Social Democratic youth wing.

Early in her political career, Mrs Wallstrom was influenced by Sweden's Social Democratic leader Olof Palme.

AFP