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Swedish opposition launches joint foreign policy

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17:26 CET+01:00
The conservative opposition alliance has announced a joint foreign policy, saying that it wants Sweden to be more proactive on the international stage.

The cornerstones of the policy, which was announced on Tuesday in Sälen, are more involvement in EU policy-making, increased cooperation with the Baltic states, more realistic policies on Russia, a greater emphasis on the United Nations and improved aid to impoverished states.

These were the key issues where the conservatives said they differed from the government's foreign policy.

"Normally there is unity where foreign policy is concerned," said the Moderates' Gunilla Carlsson.

"We want to increase the pressure on certain issues and we want Sweden to become more active in its foreign policy."

The Moderates said on Monday that they would not push for Nato membership and Carlsson told reporters that it was a mistake simply to define foreign and security policies within the framework of Nato.

Accusing the government of "insipid" foreign policies, the conservatives claimed that Sweden does not have the influence in foreign affairs that it could have by focusing efforts on certain questions.

The unified policy reported was presented in the form of a catalogue of the areas where the alliance wants to do more than is currently being done today - although there were no concrete plans detailed.

Minister for International Development Cooperation, Carin Jämtin, criticised the fact that the conservatives did not distance themselves from using aid funding for military resources.

"That's where the conservatives are off the mark," said Jämtin to TT, adding that the report was "uninteresting" and "making something out of nothing".

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