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WEAPONS

Saudis second largest Swedish arms buyers

India and Saudi Arabia were the Swedish weapons industry's top clients in 2012, a year which nevertheless saw Sweden's arms exports drop 30 percent from the year before.

Saudis second largest Swedish arms buyers

Overall, Sweden sold 9.8 billion kronor ($1.53 billion) worth of arms in 2012, according to a report from the Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls (Inspektionen för strategiska produkter, ISP), a state body meant to ensure weapons export follows ethical guidelines set by parliament.

Aside from India and Saudia Arabia, whose governments bought 1.44 million and 922 million kronor worth of Swedish arms last year respectively, other significant clients were France (899 million), Pakistan (615 million), and Thailand (600 million).

Around 56 percent of Swedish arms exports went to other countries in the EU, as well as “established partners” such as Canada, South Africa, and the United States.

Twenty other countries accounted for the rest of Swedish weapons exports.

ISP said exports were down from 2011 because Swedish military vendors had wrapped up several large-scale deals, leaving fewer big sales to bump up figures in 2012.

“Several of these systems have been delivered and therefore the value of Swedish exports has been reduced,” ISP said in a statement.

The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (Svenska freds, SPAS) remained critical of the fact that Sweden continues to sell weapons to dictatorships and countries that violate human rights.

It also cited revelations from last year that Swedish weapons sold to India had ended up in Burma “in violation of international weapons embargoes and Sweden’s own rules on weapons exports”.

“That should mean that arms exports should be frozen to the country in question,” SPAS head Anna Ek said in a statement.

TT/The Local/dl

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NATO

Turkey forms ‘permanent committee’ to assess Swedish Nato deal

Turkey on Thursday said a new "permanent committee" would meet Finnish and Swedish officials in August to assess if the two nations are complying with Ankara's conditions to ratify their Nato membership bids.

Turkey forms 'permanent committee' to assess Swedish Nato deal

Finland and Sweden dropped their history of military non-alignment and announced plans to join Nato after Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of
February. All 30 Nato members must ratify the accession.

Nato member Turkey has demanded the extradition of dozens of suspected “terrorists” from both countries under an accession deal the three signed last month.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to “freeze” the process over Sweden and Finland’s failure to extradite the suspects.

He accuses them of providing a haven for outlawed Kurdish militants. “If these countries are not implementing the points included in the
memorandum that we signed, we will not ratify the accession protocol,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reaffirmed in a televised interview.

He said the committee would meet in August but provided no details.Turkey’s parliament has broken for its summer recess and will not be able
to hold a ratification vote before October. Some Turkish officials have warned that the process may drag out until next year.

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