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Reinfeldt approved Saudi arms factory: report

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Reinfeldt approved Saudi arms factory: report
14:24 CET+01:00
Sweden's prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt approved plans to build an arms factory in Saudi Arabia, revealed Sveriges Radio (SR) on Friday.

News of Sweden's participation in the arms factory build broke earlier this week, as information from the classified 'Simoom' project was made public.

On Friday, The Local reported that defense minister Sten Tolgfors, although having previously denied this, turned out to have been aware of the factory, according to reports in newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

Now, the latest developments indicate that Sweden's prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt also knew of the deal. SR revealed that Reinfeldt approved the arms factory at a government meeting on 20 November, 2008.

"Fredrik Reinfeldt was present, as chairman, as he usually is," said the Ministry of Defense's secretary to SR .

"Odell, Leijonborg, Larsson, Carlgren, Hägglund, Carlsson, Borg, Malmström, Sabuni, Billström, Tolgfors and Björling were there too."

In other words, as well as prime minister Reinfeldt and defense minister Tolgfors, several representatives from the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) and the Christian Democrats were present at the meeting.

The decision taken at the meeting on 20 November, 2008 is quoted by SR:

"FOI is authorized to negotiate a project deal, as part of their research deal with the Saudi authority concerned, of their participation as consultants in order for Saudi Arabia to independently be able to create secure use of explosives in the country, using Swedish knowledge and Swedish models, as well as renovating and modifying existing anti-tank weapons."

The Left Party is now prepared to demand defense minister Tolgfors's resignation, according to SvD, and the Greens are demanding that the entire affair be investigated by the Committee on the Constitution (Konstitutionsutskottet).

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