Reinfeldt 'open' to Swedish troops in Libya

Rebecca Martin
Rebecca Martin - [email protected]
Reinfeldt 'open' to Swedish troops in Libya

Sweden’s prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said in an interview on Monday morning that he is ready to discuss the possibility of sending Swedish troops to Libya to help guarantee the country's security.


“What’s important now is to get in place a civilian rule willing to take the country in a democratic direction,” Reinfeldt told Sveriges Radio (SR) in response to a question about whether he was ready to Swedish troops to Libya to guarantee security in a post-Qaddafi era.

The prime minister stressed the need for Libya to draft a constitution, get the economy going and the importance of providing humanitarian aid to the suffering country, in order to bring about sustainable and long-term development.

“This is a hope of a change for the better, of better times to come, which we are witnessing, just like in many other Arabic countries,” Reinfeldt said.

Unlike nations like the UK, the US and France, Sweden has not recognised the Libyan rebel council, the NTC, as the country’s legitimate representative.

“We can’t recognise a government that hasn’t got control over its territory. The NTC is an important actor in negotiations but most contacts are currently being done through EU representatives,” Anders Jörle of the foreign ministry information department told news site Nyheter24, referring to the Libyan Interim National Transitional Council.

Jörle also said that Sweden would recognise whatever regime taking control over the war torn country.

“It is no expression of us leaning one way or the other but a general principle,” Jörle said.

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt tweeted on Sunday that he welcomed the news from Tripoli that the Qaddafi clique is disintegrating.

On his blog he wrote that it must be obvious to the different parts of the regime that they had reached a point of no return.

Bildt also said he hoped the collapse would be quick and that it wouldn’t involve large-scale battles on the streets of Tripoli.

Bildt stressed the need for the global community to come together and help bring the country round.

“Now Libya needs an orderly transition and the building of a proper democratic state. Huge task. UN and others must help,” Bildt tweeted on Monday.

And there seems to be agreement across the aisles that Sweden should take an active role in the rebuilding of the war torn Libyan nation.

"When Qaddafi's rule has fallen the international community and Sweden must be ready to boost their support to in every way possible contribute to a peaceful transition to democracy," Urban Ahlin, Social Democratic spokesperson on foreign policy, said in a statement on Monday.


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