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NATO asks Sweden for more help in Libya

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NATO asks Sweden for more help in Libya
14:33 CEST+02:00
Sweden could be set to beef up its military presence in Libya following a request from NATO for more assistance.

NATO wants to extend its current operation in Libya by a further 90 days, and has asked for urgent support from the Swedish government, reports news agency TT.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt confirmed the request from NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen for continued help with air reconnaissance with the possibility of more Swedish troops joining the naval fleet.

In addition the extra Swedes could also be employed in information operations.

It would be a controversial move though, in what is a tight time frame. The Swedish government has to come to a decision by June 22, although initial indications look positive.

The Social Democrat foreign policy spokesman Urban Ahlin says that the party will be willing to compromise if certain conditions are met.

"It will be much easier to us to reach an agreement now that it is clear that NATO will not just ask for eight Gripen fighter planes, but also for things we have pointed out, such as arms embargoes, naval operations and the boarding of larger vessels.”

The party has also made it clear that it wants to see a commitment of humanitarian aid for Libya once the Qaddafi regime has been removed from power.

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