• Sweden edition
 
Swedish house backs Libya involvement

Swedish house backs Libya involvement

Published: 21 Mar 2011 18:30 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Mar 2011 18:30 GMT+01:00

The Swedish government can count on the broad support in parliament to send JAS Gripen aircraft to assist the UN-backed Libyan operation, with only the Sweden Democrats expressing a dissenting opinion.

The last Swedish fighter aircraft saw action was almost 50 years ago.

It is reported that NATO may soon approach Sweden with to participate in the international effort against the Libyan regime. The defence alliance however spent the day discussing which nation was best equipped to lead the operation.

"We must wait and see what NATO is up to. This is of significance," foreign minister Carl Bildt said.

If NATO is unable to agree Bildt has not ruled out Sweden being able to take part in an operation led by a group of countries, including France, the United States and Britain, although Sweden would be in unfamiliar position.

The first few days of the air operation against the rule of Muammar Qaddafi have been led by a coalition led by France, Britain and the US. France and Turkey are said to be opposed to NATO taking over the operation.

For Sweden it would be easier to take part within a NATO-led effort, despite not being a formal member of the alliance as the military is familiar with procedures following previous cooperation.

Swedish participation would require a swift decision in parliament and according to a review of the positions of parliamentary parties, a government proposition would receive the broad support of the Riksdag.

The Social Democrats have expressed their firm support for a Swedish contribution to the operation.

"For me, it is irrelevant if the request comes from France, the United Nations or from NATO. The UN has called for the mission," said the party's foreign policy spokesperson Urban Ahlin.

Left Party leader Lars Ohly said that he was cautiously positive to sending the JAS Gripen fighter into combat.

The Sweden Democrats, who currently hold 19 votes in parliament, expressed their opposition to a Swedish contribution to the military effort preferring instead to spend the money on measures to address a feared refugee crisis.

The last time Swedish fighter aircraft participated in battle was almost 50 years ago, when J 29 "Flying Barrel" planes fought in the Congo in the early 60's.

The Swedish Armed Forces have informed the government that it can send up to eight JAS Gripen planes to Libya.

The aircraft form part of the Nordic battle group, the most well-trained air force unit in Sweden, and fully compatible with NATO.

According to Anders Silwer at the armed forces, the unit could be deployed to the combat zone - for example at air bases in Sicily and Crete - "days" after a political decision.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

20:54 March 21, 2011 by superturbo
Oh no, please don't waste any more of my tax-money on this kind of operations. Unfortunately, the politicians are as irresponsible as ever when it comes to managing tax-payer's money :(
23:43 March 21, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Danish jets are already flying combat missions against Gadafi. Why is Sweden dragging its feet?
01:25 March 22, 2011 by Nemesis
Sweden is dragging its feet for a simple reason.

They want to be seen to be friends of there masters in the US, but also want to keep the vote in Sweden.

Fence sitting as usual.
07:32 March 22, 2011 by blursd
Wow ... eight planes ... don't go all in now.
08:08 March 22, 2011 by Prat
UN Security Council Resolution 1973 (2011), to protect civilians in Libya, garnered 10 supporting votes. But the UN Security Council is a small clique of 15 nations (of whom 5 enjoy "permanent" or unelected positions). Why should Sweden follow their lead?

Maybe because Sweden's own leadership is feeble...

Sweden might most helpfully work to enforce the arms embargo & to prevent mercenary participation in Libya, as demanded by the above resolution. But they would perhaps then need to police their friends, allies and their own corporate interests.

Full text of UNSC Resolution 1973 (2011):

http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sc10200.doc.htm
09:31 March 22, 2011 by zerotolerancenow
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
10:05 March 22, 2011 by johnny1939
Sitting on the fence is better than causing death and destruction. Did not ever think that I would agree w/ SD.
18:49 March 29, 2011 by DJECKY
yes i agree with you @johnny1939.its better to take part in mass killing,kill all those muslims there, kill everybody even children bome thier houses destroy everything you guys see,then after take thier oil from them and leave the few ppl people standing in poverty,

that is better than sitting on the fence while others kill then you come after for the booty.kill those animals bros,.
Today's headlines
Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. READ () »

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind. File photo: TT

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around. READ () »

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'
Fredrik Reinfeldt. File photo: TT

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism". READ () »

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the first quarter press conference. Photo: TT

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping brawl
Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead. READ () »

Sponsored Article
Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
The town of Västervik.

Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet. READ () »

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Swedes enjoy hot dogs and cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday READ () »

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern. READ () »

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
An unrelated bodybuilder. File photo: Ann Törnkvist

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Advertisement:
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

718
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com