• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Paris terror attacks
Sweden will help with France's war on Isis
A Swedish soldier on board HMS Visby. Photo: TT Yvonne Åsell/SvD/TT

Sweden will help with France's war on Isis

TT/AFP/The Local · 17 Nov 2015, 15:37

Published: 17 Nov 2015 11:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Nov 2015 15:37 GMT+01:00

After France's President Francois Hollande declared that his country was "at war" with Isis over the weekend, his Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian asked other EU states for help with its military operations abroad and for support in its fight against Isis in Syria and Iraq.
 
European foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced later on Tuesday morning that EU ministers had unanimously agreed to support France, which has intensified bombing raids against the terror group's stronghold in Syria and Iraq.
 
"Today the EU through the voices of all the member states unanimously expressed its strongest full support and readiness to give the assistance needed," she told a press conference in Brussels, alongside Le Drian.
 
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven confirmed to reporters that his country backed the plea for help, but said that what Sweden could offer would depend on the exact nature of any formal request from France.
 
"We are not at war, but we stand together with France and the EU," he said. "But they haven't said yet what they want help with, so let us get back to that."
 
It is understood that France will contact EU states individually today to ask for assistance.
 
 

French president Francois Hollande (left) and his Defence Minister Jean Yves Le Drian, snapped earlier this month. Photo: Ian Langsdon/TT
 
Earlier in the day Pezhman Fivrin, Press Secretary to Sweden's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström, was also asked if the Nordic nation would offer assistance.
 
"We must consider that. We stand behind France at this difficult time," he said.
 
France's appeal came after Friday's bloodshed in Paris – the worst ever terror attacks on French soil.
 
The country's Defence Minister Le Drian invoked article 42-7 in the EU treaties that provides for the solidarity of member states in the event of an attack on one of them.
 
It is the first time that a European Union member state has invoked the article, which is similar to Nato's article five which the United States activated after the attacks on the US on September 11th 2001, which triggered the alliance's intervention in Afghanistan.
 
Jacob Westberg, Senior Lecturer in Security Policy and Strategy at the National Defence College in Stockholm told TT that the nature of the article was such that Sweden would be granted some flexibility in its response.
 
Story continues below…
"Stockholm will decide how Sweden should act," he said.
 
But he added: "The article is relatively clear and says that states must contribute by all available means. Hollade is trying this track and it will be interesting to see how other countries respond."
 
Sweden – which is not part of Nato – has already sent around 35 soldiers to train Kurdish forces in Iraq to tackle Isis fighters. Earlier this month Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist said that their mission could be extended until December 2016.
 
As The Local revealed on Monday, Sweden's Security Service (Säpo) is also already offering help to its French counterpart in the wake of the latest violence.
 
The head of the service, Anders Thornberg,  told Sveriges Radio (Radio Sweden): “I do not want to say exactly what we are doing, it is important that the French lead this investigation and take information. But we have people in place and we have an exchange of information.” 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

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

Today's headlines
Ikea threatens to shelve Russia growth plans
Everything Moscow. Photo: Maxim Murmur/AP

Will the Swedish furniture goliath retract its rubles?

Swedish police brace for 'unpredictable' pope
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine meeting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Nobody knows quite what to expect when Pope Francis visits secular Sweden this autumn.

Could this Swedish finding help cure alcoholism?
What causes alcohol dependency? Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Scientists hope their findings will end the stigmatization of alcoholism.

Man jailed for six years for asylum home arson
The district court in Västmanland. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A court in western Sweden has sentenced a 28-year-old asylum seeker to six years in jail for starting a fire at the asylum centre where he lived.

Volvo on hunt for 400 new engineers in Sweden
Want to help build one of these? Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Want to work in Sweden?

Swedish hearts fail on Mondays and at Christmas
Tell me why I don't like Mondays. Photo: Marcus Lindblad/SvD/TT

July is Sweden's most heart-warming month.

Woman told she's not Swedish enough for a job
A sun bather wears a Swedish flag hat to celebrate National Day. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden's discrimination watchdog is on the case.

Really hungry elk wreak havoc in Swedish forests
Om-nom-nom. Photo: AP Photo/Becky Bohrer

"It's an emergency situation."

Swedish hotels cash in on business travellers
Visitors are flocking to Malmö. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Business travellers have been flocking to city hotels in Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm this summer.

Opinion
'More men must stand up against abuse in Sweden'
Equality Minister Åsa Regnér. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Sweden's equality minister Åsa Regnér on why the government is introducing a new strategy on male violence against women.

Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
How good is Sweden for expat life?
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Gallery
Property of the week: Landskrona, Skåne
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th-28th
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,396
jobs available