• Sweden's news in English

Swedish house backs Libya involvement

TT/The Local/pvs · 21 Mar 2011, 18:30

Published: 21 Mar 2011 18:30 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The last Swedish fighter aircraft saw action was almost 50 years ago.

It is reported that NATO may soon approach Sweden with to participate in the international effort against the Libyan regime. The defence alliance however spent the day discussing which nation was best equipped to lead the operation.

"We must wait and see what NATO is up to. This is of significance," foreign minister Carl Bildt said.

If NATO is unable to agree Bildt has not ruled out Sweden being able to take part in an operation led by a group of countries, including France, the United States and Britain, although Sweden would be in unfamiliar position.

The first few days of the air operation against the rule of Muammar Qaddafi have been led by a coalition led by France, Britain and the US. France and Turkey are said to be opposed to NATO taking over the operation.

For Sweden it would be easier to take part within a NATO-led effort, despite not being a formal member of the alliance as the military is familiar with procedures following previous cooperation.

Swedish participation would require a swift decision in parliament and according to a review of the positions of parliamentary parties, a government proposition would receive the broad support of the Riksdag.

The Social Democrats have expressed their firm support for a Swedish contribution to the operation.

"For me, it is irrelevant if the request comes from France, the United Nations or from NATO. The UN has called for the mission," said the party's foreign policy spokesperson Urban Ahlin.

Left Party leader Lars Ohly said that he was cautiously positive to sending the JAS Gripen fighter into combat.

The Sweden Democrats, who currently hold 19 votes in parliament, expressed their opposition to a Swedish contribution to the military effort preferring instead to spend the money on measures to address a feared refugee crisis.

Story continues below…

The last time Swedish fighter aircraft participated in battle was almost 50 years ago, when J 29 "Flying Barrel" planes fought in the Congo in the early 60's.

The Swedish Armed Forces have informed the government that it can send up to eight JAS Gripen planes to Libya.

The aircraft form part of the Nordic battle group, the most well-trained air force unit in Sweden, and fully compatible with NATO.

According to Anders Silwer at the armed forces, the unit could be deployed to the combat zone - for example at air bases in Sicily and Crete - "days" after a political decision.

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

20:54 March 21, 2011 by superturbo
Oh no, please don't waste any more of my tax-money on this kind of operations. Unfortunately, the politicians are as irresponsible as ever when it comes to managing tax-payer's money :(
23:43 March 21, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Danish jets are already flying combat missions against Gadafi. Why is Sweden dragging its feet?
01:25 March 22, 2011 by Nemesis
Sweden is dragging its feet for a simple reason.

They want to be seen to be friends of there masters in the US, but also want to keep the vote in Sweden.

Fence sitting as usual.
07:32 March 22, 2011 by blursd
Wow ... eight planes ... don't go all in now.
08:08 March 22, 2011 by Prat
UN Security Council Resolution 1973 (2011), to protect civilians in Libya, garnered 10 supporting votes. But the UN Security Council is a small clique of 15 nations (of whom 5 enjoy "permanent" or unelected positions). Why should Sweden follow their lead?

Maybe because Sweden's own leadership is feeble...

Sweden might most helpfully work to enforce the arms embargo & to prevent mercenary participation in Libya, as demanded by the above resolution. But they would perhaps then need to police their friends, allies and their own corporate interests.

Full text of UNSC Resolution 1973 (2011):

09:31 March 22, 2011 by zerotolerancenow
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
10:05 March 22, 2011 by johnny1939
Sitting on the fence is better than causing death and destruction. Did not ever think that I would agree w/ SD.
18:49 March 29, 2011 by DJECKY
yes i agree with you @johnny1939.its better to take part in mass killing,kill all those muslims there, kill everybody even children bome thier houses destroy everything you guys see,then after take thier oil from them and leave the few ppl people standing in poverty,

that is better than sitting on the fence while others kill then you come after for the booty.kill those animals bros,.
Today's headlines
Why the Pope is visiting Sweden next week
Pope Francis in the Vatican. Photo: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Pope to nail reconciliation agenda to Lutherans' door in southern Sweden.

The Local Recipes
How to make no-knead sourdough bread like a Swede
No-knead sourdough bread. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Swedes love their sourdough bread. Food writer John Duxbury shares his favourite Swedish recipe for a no-knead loaf.

Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

Forgotten Ingmar Bergman script to be made into a film
It's thought the script was part of an ill-fated collaboration between Bergman (left) and Federico Fellini (right). Photo: AP

Written in 1969, the script is 'up to the standard of his best', according to the Ingmar Bergman Foundation.

Sweden's consumption footprint 'among the worst'
Trucks transporting goods on a Swedish highway. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden has been criticized for its unsustainable consumption of the planet's resources in the latest edition of a major WWF study.

Video: How to be Joel Kinnaman for a day
Kinnaman with one of the camera rigs that will allow people inside his head. Photo: Tele2

The Swedish Hollywood actor will strap a camera to his head, stream it live and allow viewers to interact with him this weekend.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
How Stockholm's cold climate boosts creativity
Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Do long, dark winters actually make Swedes more creative and more productive? We spoke to Stockholm startups to find out.

Sweden to keep record-low interest rate in 2017
Sweden's landmark negative interest rate will continue towards 2018. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish central bank said that it will take longer than expected to reach its inflation target.

Presented by Stockholm University
9 unexpected programmes at Stockholm University
Photo: Niklas Björling

Did you know Stockholm University offers 75 master's programmes taught in English? And some of them are programmes you won't find anywhere else...

Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available