Liberal Party calls for Sweden to join Nato force
TT/David Landes · 28 Aug 2008, 08:09
Published: 28 Aug 2008 08:09 GMT+02:00
- Sweden sends extra troops to Afghanistan (22 May 08)
- Debating NATO: Sweden and Finland keep their distance (10 Apr 08)
“We participate in Nato-led international missions. We have adopted Nato standards in terms of equipment and training in defence. We both pay the membership fee and participate in meetings, but have no voting right within Nato,” said Allan Widman, the Liberal Party’s defence policy spokesperson, to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.
He claims that the conflict in Georgia makes Swedish Nato membership all the more important.
The Liberal Party has long pushed the issue of Swedish membership in the military alliance.
In June, the party registered a dissenting opinion against the Defence Commission’s decision not to take a position on the question of Nato membership.
The Swedish public remains skeptical towards Nato membership.
Only the Moderate Party supports Sweden’s entry into Nato, but only under the conditions that the Social Democrats also support the move, and that Finland would join the alliance as well.
Today Sweden has 350 soldiers in Afghanistan. The Liberal Party wants to see that number increase to 500 troops.
Norway has participated in the EU’s rapid reaction force, despite not being an EU member state. In the same way, Sweden ought to participate in Nato’s rapid reaction force even though it is not a member.
Likewise, Sweden ought to be a part of the rotating schedule in which different countries patrol air space over the Baltic region, argues the Liberal Party.