UAE recalls ambassador to Sweden, summons Swedish ambassador over criticism of Saudi Arabia

The United Arab Emirates has recalled its ambassador to Sweden to protest comments made by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom criticizing neighboring Saudi Arabia.

The official UAE news agency, WAM, says Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash also summoned Sweden's Ambassador to the UAE Jan Thesleff on Wednesday and handed him a formal letter condemning the "abusive remarks" made about Saudi Arabia and its judicial system.

Wallstrom had strongly criticized the women's rights situation in Saudi Arabia and the flogging in January of a Saudi blogger convicted of insulting Islam.

The UAE move comes one week after Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador from Sweden. Relations between the two nations started to fray after a left-wing government took office in Stockholm in October.