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David Gardner

David Gardner is the international affairs editor of the Financial Times (FT). He joined the FT in 1978 and has worked mainly as a foreign correspondent and writer on international affairs. In 2003 he won the David Watt political journalism prize for his writing on the Arab world. He is the aut...
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The implications of the Swedish-Saudi Arabian clash for the U.S. and Europe

David Gardner, 19 March 2015

The clash between Sweden and Saudi Arabia in the second week of March may inadvertently have cast light on three aspects of Europe’s dealings with the Middle East. Firstly, Sweden’s recognition of Palestine is part of a gradual but seemingly inexorable rethink within the European Union in response to Israel’s expanding occupation and colonisation of Palestinian territory. Secondly, the spat with the Saudis is a sign that traditional deference towards the Wahhabi kingdom is no longer automatic in Europe – and to an extent in the U.S. Thirdly, Washington’s decision to reduce its presence in the Middle East is likely to force Europeans to up their game in the region.

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