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Secret documents reveal further arms cooperation

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Secret documents reveal further arms cooperation
08:59 CET+01:00
Sweden was in talks with Saudi Arabia about providing a state of the art public security system, according to information in a secret letter sent from the Swedish minister for trade and revealed by daily Expressen.

The letter, which was sent from Swedish minister for trade Ewa Björling to Prince Mohammed Nayef, dated September 17th 2009, was revealed and published on Tuesday by the newspaper.

The Saudi dictator, according to the paper, wanted to buy “several million kronor” worth of cameras, digital equipment, and an underground control centre system to watch over his own people.

In the letter, Björling notes the advanced technology of Swedish security systems, and how the two countries can continue to work on their “strategic partnership” in the future.

Swedish government ministers have been keen to pass the buck when confronted by Expressen regarding the claims, with all signs seemingly pointed towards the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and The Swedish Fortifications Agency (Fortifikationsverket).

However, spokespeople for both groups have not confirmed or denied the possible collaborations with Saudi Arabia.

According to the letter, published in full today, Björling wrote:

“The responsible Swedish government agencies are prepared to provide an initial study regarding civil public security utilizing the full knowledge gained from Sweden's experience along with its advanced and proven technologies”.

Sources close to Expressen have indicated that this co-operation was to involve intense civilian monitoring by the regime, allowing them to be able to “deploy heavily armed domestic troops” if deemed necessary from security monitoring.

An initial workshop has already taken place in June of 2009 relating to the security collaboration, according to Björling's letter.

The plans were met with heavy criticism from the opposition, including Left Party spokesperson on foreign policy, Hans Linde.

“I think it is unacceptable to be engaged in this type of cooperation with a country like Saudi Arabia. This would be actively providing one of the worst dictatorships with tools to monitor and thereby repress its own people,” he told the paper.

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