• Sweden edition
 

'Foreign ministry refused to abandon Saudi deal'

Published: 26 Apr 2012 08:06 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Apr 2012 08:06 GMT+02:00

“I thought it felt unpleasant to be active in a dictatorship. Saudi Arabia is a developing country when it comes to human rights," Cederqvist said to SvD.

On Wednesday the paper revealed that the Swedish agency has been cooperating with the Saudi dictatorship for over twenty years, a cooperation that has resulted in five gigantic subterranean fuel storage facilities in the country.

According to Cederqvist, the Saudis wanted to build the underground facilities because they feared attack, especially from Iraq.

The size of the facilities can be compared to a small city, according to Cederqvist.

“They’re not just storage areas, there is also a hospital and a subterranean mosque,” she said to the paper.

As director general for the agency, Cederqvist had significant misgivings about the project and working together with the Saudi regime.

According to Cederqvist, she tried to bring the subject up with the then minister for finance, Social Democrat Bosse Ringholm, as well as with high ranking officials from the foreign ministry and the Swedish embassy in Riyadh.

She wanted the agency to pull out of the project. But the foreign ministry told her no.

“It was never going to work. The arguments they gave me were that the good contacts with the Saudi regime were too important to be risked,” she told SvD.

According to the paper, the project has been extended six times, by different Swedish governments, since it was first initiated in 1987.

And while the Saudis speak openly about the project, Sweden has always chosen to keep the cooperation confidential.

According to SvD, the project was extended by current prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s government as recently as 2007.

The great secrecy around the Saudi deals and the last few weeks' revelations have prompted Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt to demand that the government come clean.

"I want the government to openly account for any joint ventures they have had with Saudi Arabia. The question is if there are more dealings or cooperations. If that is the case I'd like the government to tell the Riksdag, before someone else does," he said to SvD.

The Local/rm

twitter.com/thelocalsweden

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

11:10 April 26, 2012 by sometimetoquestion
This is some hot stuff. Considering the peaceable land of scandinavia is actually Weapons and shield consultant. I always thought we did not do weapon or shield deals with non-democratic "countries" as well as those in a waring stance. I mean what good do more weapons in the middle east do good for. I am almost sure similar contracts are availed to Israel too. Typical dualistic nature of what has become of Sweden the past 100 or so years. But the war they are servicing now one can never be far enough.

Makes the whole nobel thing seem like a scam. Where intellect n intelligence is hijacked to mean the little it is considering where we are today.

Blessup
16:48 April 26, 2012 by Migga
So only one side should have weapons and arms? Just because that side is democratic and the other side isnt`t? Nah dude, time to wake up. Countries would go to war no matter what. Look at the USA, it`s democracy but it goes to war all the time.

The neutral thing to do, like Sweden, is to supply both sides. Sweden is neutral, not pacifist. What countries do with the weapons are their responsibility, not Swedens.
22:01 April 27, 2012 by astra2thor6
Saudi Arabia is a pro-western, benevolent dictatorship. Its government and that of the Gulf States are the only friends we have in the muslim world. Further they control most of the world's oil, that we need. Further, Saudi provides jobs and money for Sweden. Go for it FOI!
Today's headlines
Stockholm 'submarine' hunt
Sweden's 'submarine hunt' moves south
The Swedish Armed Forces have sent out 200 troops. Photo: TT

Sweden's 'submarine hunt' moves south

UPDATED: The Swedish Armed Forces have pushed into their fifth day searching for a suspected foreign vessel in the Stockholm archipelago. READ  

European Union
Extremist saves Sweden Democrats' EU group
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: TT

Extremist saves Sweden Democrats' EU group

The EU group that bound several Eurosceptic parties including the Sweden Democrats has been saved by an MEP from a far-right Polish group, just a week after it appeared to have crumbled, according to a UK press report. READ  

Stockholm 'submarine' hunt
Timeline: Mystery 'submarine' in Stockholm
Sweden's Armed Forces are out in force after reports of a foreign vessel in the Stockholm archipelago. Photo: TT

Timeline: Mystery 'submarine' in Stockholm

The world has had its periscope on Sweden since the Swedish military launched an extensive hunt for what is rumoured to be a damaged Russian submarine in the Stockholm archipelago. Here is the timeline of events so far. READ  

Business & Money
Profit leap for Swedbank
A branch of Swedbank in Malmö. Photo. TT

Profit leap for Swedbank

Swedbank has seen its profits rise higher than expected. READ  

New coalition
Sick pay U-turn from Sweden's new coalition
Stefan Löfven has changed his strategy on sick pay. Photo: TT

Sick pay U-turn from Sweden's new coalition

Small businesses won't face rising sick pay costs, following a policy reversal from Sweden's new coalition government. READ  

Presented by CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
CurrencyFair co-founder Brett Meyers

CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers

Tired of losing money when you send cash back home? Join other expats in Sweden who avoid bank fees and hidden charges by sending money internationally with CurrencyFair, an online marketplace where secure transactions are faster and cheaper. READ  

Stockholm 'submarine' hunt
Vessel hunt continues at 'full strength'
Minehunter HMS Koster takes part in the search in the Stockholm archipelago on Sunday. Photo: Marko Säävälä/TT

Vessel hunt continues at 'full strength'

The search for a suspected foreign vessel in the Stockholm archipelago continues with "full strength" on Tuesday morning, according to Sweden's armed forces. READ  

Ebola crisis
Sweden hit by two Ebola false alarms in two days
The Uppsala University Hospital. Photo: TT

Sweden hit by two Ebola false alarms in two days

UPDATED: A patient has been cleared of any Ebola suspicions at the Uppsala University Hospital. It marks the second suspected case in Sweden in two days. READ  

Analysis
Why a foreign vessel lurks in Swedish waters
The HMS Stockholm patrols Jungfrufjärden in the Stockholm archipelago on Monday morning. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Why a foreign vessel lurks in Swedish waters

With Sweden engaged in its biggest domestic military operation since the Cold War, The Local spoke to Johan Wiktorin, a fellow at the Swedish Royal Academy of War Sciences, to get insight into what’s going on in the Stockholm archipelago. READ  

My Swedish Career
US woman starts up Swedish toy store online
Leigh Neil and a llama hand puppet. Photo: Private

US woman starts up Swedish toy store online

For this week's My Swedish Career we meet Leigh Neil, who one day came to realize that there was a gap in the Swedish market for children's toys and decided to do something about it. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
National
Sweden deploys troops over underwater threat
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Blog updates

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 

17 October

Editor’s Blog, Oct 17th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Here’s the whole week of news in just 60 seconds. The most-read story was about a..." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
National
A Touch of Scandinavia: Reindeer in the kitchen
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Lifestyle
Sweden's The Bridge to become 'more Danish'
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
National
What's on in Sweden
National
Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' protection
Society
Interview with Geena Davis: 'I want to be in a Swedish movie'
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

1,005
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
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN