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Swedish leaders see unity on Afghanistan

TT/The Local · 21 Oct 2010, 15:33

Published: 21 Oct 2010 15:33 GMT+02:00

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"We have had initial and very good talks with Mona Sahlin and we shall have new (talks) next week," Reinfeldt said afterwards.

"We can also see, like Sahlin, openings."

The meeting between Sahlin, Reinfeldt, and foreign minister Carl Bildt, lasted about an hour shortly after lunch on Thursday.

"I consider that the possibilities exist for a seven party agreement in the parliament," Sahlin said.

"The chances are considerable. We have all expressed an eagerness and need for the Swedish troops' future in Afghanistan to be solved in a broad manner, across the political blocs."

Sahlin informed Red-Green coalition colleagues, Left Party leader Lars Ohly and the Green Party's Maria Wetterstrand, about the meeting on Thursday afternoon.

"It sounds like they are open to discuss. There are definitely openings from the government side which are interesting," Wetterstrand said.

According to Wetterstrand the Red-Green parties will now conduct individual, internal discussions as to whether they will open negotiations with the government. The Green Party's parliamentary group will meet tomorrow.

The Red-Green leaders will then together discuss the mandate that they are prepared to give Mona Sahlin in the talks. Wetterstrand argued that another alternative is that all party representatives, and not just Mona Sahlin, participate in the negotiations.

The Red-Greens were offered two chairs at the talks but Mona Sahlin decided to go alone as a protest at what Lars Ohly claimed on Thursday was a clear attempt to split the Red-Green opposition.

When Sahlin was asked if an agreement was possible without the Left Party, she replied:

"My presumption is that we move forward as a Red-Green opposition and the government needs to seek broad-based support in the Riksdag. The best thing would be for all, except the Sweden Democrats, to be together in that agreement."

Foreign minister Carl Bildt wrote on his blog on Thursday that he has assured his Finnish colleague Alexander Stubb that Sweden intends to continue to cooperate closely with Finland over Afghanistan:

Story continues below…

"It is important to know that we have a joint Swedish-Finnish military contribution in Afghanistan," Bildt wrote and argued that "within this lies a strength for us both".

Finland currently has 180 personnel in Afghanistan, to be increased to 195 by the spring.

Bildt also referred to talks in recent days in Moscow.

"Here there is a tangible concern that we and others will leave the country with the work only half done. And then there is a fear for the consequences in various respects."

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

21:15 October 21, 2010 by Vitas
Ölof Palme:"For a crime is always a crime, and terror is always terror, even when it is committed in the name of lofty principles and objectives. . . . It is an illusion to believe that it is possible to meet demands for social justice with violence and military might. . . ."
23:09 October 21, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
Should we get the hell out or should we stay?

I suppose that there could have been a referendum on the matter and it could get to that point.

Afghanistan was never an important election issue. At best the opposition skirted around the issue and wound up agreeing with the government, that in this matter the Swedish Choir has to sing with one voice – minus Ohly's of course.

It seems that the Sverige Demokrater are also completely on board about trying to clip the wings of the Taliban.

By the forces of nature, it's a good Swedish propensity, to go for a broad based consensus, this time a national consensus of The Alliance and The Coalition of Opposition Parties minus Ohly tha commie who will not budge from his principles of combat, even if all the others are all in support of the Swedish role in Afghanistan.

The other side (Taliban) is also campaigning on a broad-based platform: they want foreigners to take all their weapons of destruction with them and go back home.


This being the case, Henning Mankell's JA in answer to the above question, in Aftonbladet, 20/10/2010, summaries good Swedish horse sense. He says, “The only reasonable thing would be that Sweden contributes to the creation of a dialogue with the Taliban. We can hardly do this with soldiers, but rather with the economy and diplomacy. At best. Without talks with the Taliban, nothing that remotely resembles peace will ever be achieved.”

That was Brother Mankell of the First Freedom Flotilla, speaking.

Brother Mankell, of good Swedish pedigree and some affinity with the people of Gaza and his more familiar Mozambique. Brave man. Perhaps he should stick to writing fiction, or soon enough as a political activist and to satisfy at least one conscience will be sailing by boat or flying by air to the mountains, not too far from Kabul – to talk to the Taliban?


I should just like to add that I am in essential agreement with what Brother Mankell says about Afghanistan.
23:17 October 21, 2010 by asian123
@Cornelius Hamelberg

did your mother travelled to sweden 24 years back. i just wondering about your name.

your family name is hamelberg. ha ha ha.
23:31 October 21, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg

Asian Brother 123

At this point in this time that we are both blessed to arrive at, the identity of my Holy Yoruba Mother is not somebody that you should be worrying about.
23:54 October 21, 2010 by Kevtravels
I must say i'm quite amazed at both how long Sweden has been in Afghanistan and also how there isn't much of a public debate considering how much combat your troops have been in for the past year.

As always I'm quite respectful for all coalition nations serving and doing their part. But I guess it's now most probable that the negotiations must be tried 100% and also speed up and concentrate efforts on training the Afghans as the Brits and Danes are set to withdraw by 2015. The Dutch have left. The Canadians will be out in a year. The Italians are leaving by 2012.
01:04 October 22, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
It's all fine and dandy the wishful idea that public debate about Afghanistan will impact on policy and bring the Swedes back home as soon as possible – as soon as possible and not “ We shall be there helping Uncle Sam out, for as long as it takes !” Ohly is not the only one who doesn't want to hear that. That commitment to infinity.

Public debates for the hogahs in the government to hear – and take sides? Where? The media? Which media? In the Local's Parliament? Armchair fighters will debate about military matters to their heart's content and in public, in spite of which party leaders will go ahead and decide over our heads, anyway.

Think about it.


Give that some thought.

Perhaps because - just like what Sweden wants to contribute to establishing over there, some Decency & Western Values, some of what the pretentious monkeys are always yakking off about : Human Rights! !the education of the girl child! ! Equal Rights ! Freedom & Democracy ! - government of the people for the people, by the people !

So too in Sweden, co-exporter and enforcer of the idea Democracy and what Gandhiji said should be a good idea: Western Civilisation.

So too here in Sweden we gave them (our own Taliban)

we gave them the mandate to do so, to have this and that tête-à-tête, decide over our heads and to tell us what to do.

We put them there and they

tell us what to do.

We put them there and they tell us where it's at. Consultation of your opinion on purely military matters Kevtravels ?

We had better leave that to Chief of Staff Sverker Göranson. In him we should have some trust.

Other ethical matters arising on the ground, in the most dangerous neighbourhood and more views impinging on all of mankind in Afghanistan:


07:12 October 22, 2010 by asian369
"Swedish leaders see unity on Afghanistan" BUT Swedish Nation DO NOT see unity on Afghanistan.
08:27 October 22, 2010 by Jarvilainennen
I do not appreciate our foreign minister, the NATO-heated toothpaste-commercial Stubb.

I am extremely sceptical about success in Afghanistan...

If and when the international forces leave Afghanistan more or less to their own devices and the Afghans still fall back to religious fanaticism and opium-trading I can tell you I´ve had it.

If these people are so incapable of modern thinking and standing up to their own rights, what good are they to anyone?

A hellish amount of people have sacrificed their own lifes for them.
15:44 October 22, 2010 by Syftfel
I didn't think Mona was considered "a leader" anymore, after September 19th. Clearly, Sweden rejected her and her punitive liberal/marxist policies. Hence the fact that she "expressed satisfaction" to anything is totally irrelevant. Mona should no longer be used as a reference point.
13:58 October 23, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
Syftfel says that if you don't make it concise and clear in seven lines, then it's tedious and heart-breaking to other peoples eyes.

Too bad.

Anyway this is not only to other people but also to asia123 & asia369:

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