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Sweden plans Afghan mission extension

TT/AFP/The Local · 2 Aug 2010, 13:26

Published: 02 Aug 2010 07:28 GMT+02:00
Updated: 02 Aug 2010 13:26 GMT+02:00

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Representatives for all four government parties - Sten Tolgfors (M), Birgitta Ohlsson (FP), Kerstin Lundgren (C) and Holger Gustafsson (KD) - outlined the Alliance plans in a debate article in the Dagens Nyheter daily on Monday.

The Alliance also wants to extend the civil mission, including development aid and support for the build up of an Afghan state based on the rule of law.

The government colleagues - which include Sweden's defence and EU affairs ministers, Sten Tolgfors and Birgitta Ohlsson - argued that Sweden should contribute with more police officers and that aid should be concentrated on the country's northern regions where the Swedish forces are based.

"A higher profile for Swedish aid would strengthen relations with the civilian population," the politicians argued.

The four argued that while Sweden is not part of a military alliance the country works alongside other forces to build security.

"Sweden should participate in international crisis management efforts which carry a clear legal mandate, as an expression of Sweden's solidarity and responsibility in the world."

They are furthermore critical of the red-green opposition line to cut Sweden's forces in international conflict management efforts and argue that they lack a clear position on the issue.

"Countries which do not take this responsibility not only let people in need down, they dump the responsibility for peace, security, solidarity and development on others."

Some 500 Swedish troops are currently posted in the North of Afghanistan, serving in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Swedish troops were sent to the country in early 2002, even though Sweden is officially neutral and not a member of Nato.

Story continues below…

The Swedish opposition coalition, made up of the Social-Democrat, Left and

Green parties, is divided on the presence of Swedish troops in Afghanistan and

has not yet said what it would do if it wins the election, but said it would clarify its position before the vote.

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

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Your comments about this article

08:44 August 2, 2010 by Nika-NM
I hope won't be any cringing and whingeing here over this. The plan is a no-brainer.
09:35 August 2, 2010 by Nemesis
They want to send police officers from Sweden to Afghanistan. That will be interesting.

I wonder how many pizza places there are in Afghanistan for them to spend time at.

I wonder what there arrest rate will be in Afghanistan?

Aghani criminals must be getting ready for this one. In other words they will have a free for all.
10:14 August 2, 2010 by Kevtravels
I have alot of respect for the Swedish troops that are there but all Swedes should realize it's not a humanitarian mission, if they get sent to Afghanistan than they will be fighting a war.
13:03 August 2, 2010 by Lars J
This is horrific. The public opinion polls have shown an increasing demand for bringing the troops home asap. To go against the will of the people is undemocratic. Expanding the Afghan "mission" contradicts the will of the people. I hope the people will punish those responsible for this decision in the upcoming elections!
17:25 August 2, 2010 by Audrian
This is not a legal war. The US looks at Afghanistan as one of its several basis for controlling Asia and challenging China. The US is seeking another cold war where it believes it would win another cold war. I see no role for Sweden in America's imperialist war!

Swedish's right wing government is planning to turn Sweden into America' client state, like UK, Norway and Turkey are in Europe !

It has taken Sweden over half a century to be the most respected model political system in the world; it is easy to loose this position when the leadership is astray.
20:17 August 2, 2010 by babychuma
Bless the Swedish defence forces for helping to prevent the return of the Taliban in Afganistan. For all of the critical press from that region, the idea that western nations would leave and cede to a terrorist organization is terrible. The Taliban caused much suffering to women, children,religious and ethnic minorities, to allow them to regain power would surly be the end of any credibility that the west still has. Good decision, Sweden's neutrality doesn't preclude it from international obligations, and being there raises Swedens stature among all nations as a strong advocate for human rights.
22:41 August 2, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
None of us here is naive not even the rustic, aussie sheepdog....

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