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Björklund: Swedish arms exports 'embarrassing'

Björklund: Swedish arms exports 'embarrassing'

Published: 19 Mar 2011 16:41 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Mar 2011 16:41 GMT+01:00

"We must be more careful to whom we sell armaments. The fact that Sweden in the 2000s has sold advanced weapons to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia is an embarrassment," Björklund said at the party's congress in Gothenburg on Saturday.

In a speech to the party faithful on the opening day of the congress, Björklund took up the discussion over Swedish arms exports which have courted renewed controversy of late following the wave of popular revolutions in the Arab world.

"That we have sold military equipment to Pakistan and the UAE is not acceptable," he added.

Bjorklund wants to see the law governing arms exports changed so that sales are limited to democracies and those seeking to become democracies, and should not be permitted to dictatorships.

"Swedish defence equipment should be used to defend freedom and democracy, but not to threaten freedom and democracy," Björklund said.

The Local reported earlier in March that Swedish exports of defence equipment increased in 2010 to 13.7 billion kronor ($2.15 billion), according to statistics published by the Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls (Inspektionen för strategiska produkter - ISP).

The report showed that 42 percent of the country's exports went to other European Union and European Economic Area countries.

A further 29 percent went to "established partners" outside of the EU such as Australia, Japan, Canada, Korea, Singapore, South Africa and the US.

The remaining 29 percent went to a group of 20 countries with leading recipients including Pakistan (1.3 billion kronor), UAE (804 million kronor), India (696 million kronor), Thailand (498 million kronor) and Saudi Arabia (246 million kronor).

Sweden is the 11th largest arms export worldwide.

The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:27 March 19, 2011 by Nemesis
European exports are important.

European jobs are important.

If someone has a problem with European arms exports, create new jobs to replace them or shut up.
17:47 March 19, 2011 by DJECKY
@Nemesis

Thanks big man ,,,according to you ,so more Problems, eg Bahrain,Libyian,Yemen,,and other dictators shoud be encouraged to be surpresing ,kiling souls inorder for the Europeans to export arms, there by creating jobs to you man?

You got a nice idea there,i wish you were in one of these places.
17:57 March 19, 2011 by calebian22
If Sweden doesn't sell them, someone else will. War and strife is human nature. War has been and always will be part of the human condition, not that a liberal like Björklund would understand that.
18:04 March 19, 2011 by Nemesis
@ DJECKY,

I used to live in Northern Ireland.

Libya, Palestine, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Morroco, South Africa and a whole host of other countries sold weapons to both sides of the conflict where I grew up, that were used on the streets were I lived to main and kill.

Point me to your vocal objections to those sales or to people from those countries protesting about those sales.
18:36 March 19, 2011 by eZee.se
Arms selling...

a lot more goes on in that game than you and I will ever come close to imagining.

It's a dirty game with way too much money for it to stop.

At heart we are all animals, and no matter how far we have come the temptation of taking out your enemy raises a certain animal instinct that some just cannot ignore, and once you throw revenge or vengeance into the mix...
19:53 March 19, 2011 by nevon
Nemesis you are spectacularly illogical. Sweden's arms exports policy isn't based on what countries like Yemen and Iran think is morally acceptable, which includes selling weapons to dictators and conflict zones.
22:05 March 19, 2011 by koolwind
Sweden is known as Peaceful and NEUTRAL country..

Sweden's hand is equally blooded in the restlessness in mostly Muslims countries..
02:34 March 20, 2011 by SarahPalin
@koolwind,

That's just spinning it for the Muslim perspective.

But that can be done both ways, for example:

Islam is "promoted" as the religion of peace, but it's not because of an Islamist terrorist who blew himself up in the capital of a Peaceful and NEUTRAL country (Sweden).
07:48 March 20, 2011 by sleeplesssweden
As they sell,so shall they be sold to,

As they plan,so shall they be plotted against,

Those foolish Eu countries that sell arms will not have peace in thier own homeland,

IF they legitimize weapon sales to distablize oil nations for thier own financial gains,let them be prepared for what will come out from thier actions...taliban in afghanistan,isi in pakistan,al qaeda in afghanistan+++

The nightmare have just begun....
08:41 March 20, 2011 by For sale
dnt be embarrass...stop producing weapons....

and if you producing weapons thn u hv to sell when u get the buyer. Be Neutral from every perspective...

is it justified to sell arms to India?how?

if everybody look at very care fully and think thn you will find that Laden is a character which made by the powerful nation to colourize the muslim nations and get control of every resource what muslim country have...

why people why? you need somethg buy it ...why you are making innocent people life hell....
10:49 March 20, 2011 by bolababu
now you all see why Sweden embraces refugees, ..sell them weapons, destabilize their countries, they come here as refugees and get some of that oil money back in the form of social bidrag. Finito.
11:03 March 20, 2011 by johnny1939
Anyone (country etc) can sell arms to anybody through middle men. One can sell to an "acceptable" country and it will still end up where you might not want it to go so why not sell directly?
11:10 March 20, 2011 by jackx123
here is the solution:

Shut down saab, bofors and all the others making 10,000's people redundant. thereafter taxes need to be increased to pay the unemployment benefits.

peace loving schmucks. since the first war was recorded about 4,000 years ago there has been peace less than 200 years. do you really think mankind will ever have the dna altered?
11:54 March 20, 2011 by darrenj
This man is closet Nazi. Self important f*kin twatt. I have more education than him. What does he know?
11:58 March 20, 2011 by w_t_f
gun sellers never want peace ... dont make stupid comments please... most of the people here only read metro news and talk like a pro. Come with the good arguments...

For those who knows nothing ...at least you can watch lord of war ....it is a good start for you ..
12:09 March 20, 2011 by nevon
@jackx123

Human societies have progressively become less and less violent to the point that modern countries are only a fraction as violent as they were a few centuries ago. The same goes for international conflicts; today they are isolated and involve a minuscule number of people in comparison to the world population. So your assessment that war and conflict is somehow inherit to our genetics (which in itself is a hilarious assertion; you obviously don't know what DNA is) and unavoidable is just simplistic tough-guy talk, and factually wrong. Even if it were true, that wouldn't make you right, it would just make you morally repugnant (as opposed to pure stupid). It's the exact same thing as saying rape has been around forever and it's part of human nature/genetics, so we should stop fighting it and capitalize on it instead. Think about that for a while.
22:23 March 20, 2011 by jackx123
so nevon, you seem to put you at the forefront of education and intelligence. a simple couple of questions to see how your levels stack up.

when and where did the highest killing rate take place by humans? how does it compare to history?

as for rape: yes it has been proven by several institutions that when there is a conflict where a male has a good chance of meeting the maker the rate of rape increases. the latest such claim was made a couple of months ago by a swedish psychologist.
22:59 March 20, 2011 by nevon
You're really terrible at logic. Think harder about the rape analogy. Moral standards don't depend on your perception of how "natural" the action is; i.e. fundamentally wrong actions -like rape- don't become justifiable/excusable just because people have some sort of primal instinct to rape. Society still punishes rapists and does its very best to prevent rape, and also correctly considers rape to be a horrendous crime. The same goes for selling weapons to people who you know are very likely to wrongly use them; even if violence/war/oppression were somehow "human nature" and there was nothing we could do to change that (which is factually false), that still doesn't make selling weapons to those people morally right.
14:26 March 21, 2011 by JonnyDee
Without too much personal opinion, can someone tell this Swedish transplant living in the States what has/is happening in my native country which I was once so proud of for going it's own way - "the Swedish Way"? The way of Peace, non-intervention, innovation for the sake of humanity, investment in making the world a better place, a Super Power in soft power from its position of humility, honesty, and a steadfast belief in doing good for no other reason than it SHOULD be done.

From supporting the illegal wars of aggression & "grab for oil" routes in Afghanistan, to letting the US break int'l law by allowing the CIA to fly through Swedish airspace to "Black Op Sites" with POWs to be knowingly tortured & killed, to not standing up for Assange & his heroic efforts to make the NWO more transparent, to weapon sales to nations with horrific human rights abuses, to now readying their military if they are "requested" by the US, Britain, & France to join the fight?

Sweden was NEVER anyone's "do boy", & Swedes were always proud to go their own way, just take a look at Olaf Palme & his staunch rejection of the Vietnam & Korean Wars, why is Sweden now at the beck & call of the NWO every time I read about happenings in Sweden? The hegemonic Anglo ways are at the root of most every major problem we are having right now, from mistrust by the Islamic world, to the planned economic depression & subsequent power grab by the Bilderberg group, & instead of calling out & rejecting this sort of behavior for what it is, Sweden seems to be jumping into the fray ever more.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on why Sweden is daily becoming less Scandinavian & more just another EU country.
17:19 March 27, 2011 by Steffeni
Sweden has always had a history of excellent arms production. In the past this capability has allowed Sweden to maintain an effective defense force and maintain its neutrality through two world wars. Production the sale of these arms is an economic benefit to Sweden and serves to maintain peace when arms are exported judiciously.it also provides Sweden with some leverage with potential buyers and may mitigate actions

We live in an imperfect world where arms and defensive capabilities are necessary. The Swedish defense industry should be lauded and I to the maintenance of world peace and not criticized for their important contributions.
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