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Sahlin seeks clarification on Sweden's NATO ties

TT/The Local · 16 Mar 2010, 11:24

Published: 16 Mar 2010 11:24 GMT+01:00

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In an open letter to Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Foreing Minister Carl Bildt, Sahlin claimed that "key ministers within the government are pushing different positions on Swedish cooperation with NATO."

Sahlin, together with the party's foreign affairs spokesperson Urban Ahlin, argued that she had repeatedly sought clarification on several important issues regarding neutral Sweden's relationship with the military alliance.

"Should we really commit ourselves to NATO's defence obligations regarding other countries in the Baltic region? Do we really want to see Swedish JAS Gripen fighter aircraft in NATO airspace defending NATO territory?" said Mona Sahlin to news agency TT.

"The government has not been open nor given any clear confirmation. I can see a slide towards a NATO membership which I do not want to happen," she said.

The open letter was handed out to journalists in connection with a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs on Monday. The purpose of the committee is to provide a forum for the government and the opposition to discuss important foreign affairs and security policy issues.

Story continues below…

"If Mona Sahlin had any serious questions about this, then she should have addressed them to the committee, where the prime minister, defence minister and foreign minister were in attendance," Carl Bildt told TT.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:38 March 16, 2010 by Nemesis
Sahlin, grow up.

It was the Social Democrats of which Sahlin is leader, who established heavy co-operation with NATO several decades ago.

Sahlin stop rewriting the past.
12:48 March 16, 2010 by boby
I hope Nato never accepts Sweden into its ranks. Sweden does not deserve the benefits of the US, as it is the most anti US country in Europe.
12:53 March 16, 2010 by calebian22
She only needs clarification because she is a moron.
12:57 March 16, 2010 by tigger007
this woman is confusing it seems that she is always back and fourth on subjects. sweden can't have it's cake and eat it too,this is way when sweden speaks nobody's listening. this swedish government is trying to get sweden respected and heard in the world community(it may not be the best)and by nato. why does the social democrates what to stay away from nato,but if they need help to defend sweden they call on nato.

whatever happen to a scandinavian union?
14:01 March 16, 2010 by Nemesis
I think Sahlin should publicly apologise for the Social Democrats secretly working with NATO when they were in power or she should shut up and let Sverige join NATO, which in reality it is a member of, in all but name.
14:54 March 16, 2010 by hjoian
who does sweden need protection from? Be more trouble if sweden was full member of NATO
14:58 March 16, 2010 by mannorun
I can still see the red Luiviton bag that was publicly crticised.

21:23 March 16, 2010 by O.S.
It seems Sweden is kissing "neutrality" good-bye !
23:47 March 16, 2010 by kzjh72
Sweden tried to (or some may say pretended to) be neutral for a few decades. It seems like it now has been widely accepted that it cost to much for a small country to be neutral, which mean that some kind of alliances are needed. I would say that it is to prefer to have acknowledged and formalised ties to the powers of your choice rather than having secret ties, loose ties, or no ties at all, all of which in reality might mean that in time of need you just have to see who (if any) will come to your 'aid'.
00:34 March 17, 2010 by Griggy
This a prime example of why we elect morons to public office - because they provide endless hours of amusement and entertinment value! I suspect its the same in almost every country.
07:38 March 17, 2010 by johnnyrebel
Perhaps the paradigm needs to be changed. Since NATO is now a long way from home defending our shores maybe its time to rethink things a bit...hardly the North Atlantic. Sweden with its reputation for neutrality could start a new organization based on the peaceful settlement of issues around the world...corps of people organized in crisis management solving problems...instead of creating new and bigger problems. Scandanavian Union anyone?
10:45 March 17, 2010 by Tammybonny

become fan and let all the expats-living here knows how good this man is.
12:26 March 17, 2010 by Audrian
Re Nemisis

If the social democrat leader has a second thought I see wisdom in her leadership. NATO's aggressive stance against Russia is aimed at creating cold war situation in Europe, and making Europe insecure so that Europe would seek protection in return of which it would allow a total foreign policy domination by the US, the way it is since WWII.

UK, Turkey, Norway and East European countries are in America's pocket. The rest of Europe is hesitant and sometimes afraid to be neutral. President Bush's words "you are with us against the us" spread terror all over the world. Since his debacle in Iraq they have become hollow words. Countries have began to come to their sense. War is not the answer to the world's problems, e.g., global warming, shortage of fresh water, new infectious diseases, refugees and disappearance of species at an alarming rate and the pollution of the sea need the cooperation of all countries poor or rich.
15:27 March 17, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Audrian

There is an easy way to sort that out.

Get Ukraine into the EU and start talks with Russia about joining the EU.

Russia has already signed up to the European Court of Justice and is talking to several other European institutions about closer ties.

Russia inside the EU with its vast resources and inside the Euro, would create a real superpower to contend with.

China ia already facing the USA as an equal as was evidenced at the Copenhagen Climate conference.

The USA is being eclipsed by China, so we need to form a stronger block, which hopefully Canada and Russia will consider joining at some point:)
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