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Riksdag votes to extend Libya mission

Riksdag votes to extend Libya mission

Published: 18 Jun 2011 09:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Jun 2011 09:30 GMT+02:00

Lawmakers voted by a large majority on Friday to extend Sweden's participation in NATO's Libya bombing campaign for another three months.

The 349-seat parliament gave the green light to the centre-right coalition's proposal to extend the mission beyond a June 22 expiry date, with 230 votes in favour, 18 opposed and 20 abstaining. The remaining 81 lawmakers were absent.

The approval was widely expected after Foreign Minister Carl Bildt announced last week that the government and the two major opposition parties, the Green and Social Democrat parties, had reached an agreement on the extension.

The far-right Sweden Democrats and the Left Party (until 1990 called the Communist Left Party) opposed the move.

According to the plan, Sweden, which currently has eight Gripen fighter jets helping enforce the no-fly zone over Libya, will reduce the number to five but also lift restrictions on what kind of surveillance missions they can conduct.

"We are also opening the door for the air surveillance to continue, even during a ceasefire," Bildt said when he presented the plan on June 8.

The mission will also be broadened to include Swedish soldiers specially trained to operate on board ships, who will be under British command.

Sweden, which is not a member of NATO, announced in March it would participate in the NATO-led air campaign against Moamer Kadhafi's forces but said its warplanes would not carry out ground strikes - a condition also imposed under the new plan.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:59 June 18, 2011 by krow
I dont get it. Why bombing a developed developing nation and turning everyone a refugee in their own country? Now more people are on their way to Italy and Greece. Look at the economy of this countries now. Do I like Ghadafi? No. but War is never the best solution. Simple
14:31 June 18, 2011 by Prat
With Blood in the water, the predators smell opportunity.

A good chance for Sweden to prove its military technology, and if / when helpful in triggering Libyan regime change, to take advantage.

Sweden is again a colonial power.

The 81 lawmakers absent from Parliament's vote avoided being recorded supporting these criminal acts. But we all pay the costs of militarism: wasting needed money feeding a war machine, guilt, and suffering when blowback comes.
17:43 June 18, 2011 by Swedesmith
These middle eastern countries can easily become a tar baby.
17:52 June 18, 2011 by waffen
I fail to see what business Sweden has in being involved in a combat role in a war in Libya.

Sweden is not the United States, where reasons to get involved in wars are invented as a matter of course. Sweden is, or should be, above that type of involvement.

Yet Sweden has troops on the ground in Afghanistan in combat roles as well.

Why?
19:44 June 18, 2011 by play nice
Sorry to have misled you Sweden. The Libya action was to last "days, not weeks".
21:29 June 18, 2011 by johnny1939
Well, happy to see my country has so much money to throw around on for something that is none of our business. What about getting the old people some more money so they don't have to eat dog food!!!
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