Isis: Sweden calls for talks to discuss plans

Isis: Sweden calls for talks to discuss plans
Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Henrik Montgomery
The global coalition fighting Isis in Iraq and Syria will meet in Sweden in September to discuss how to beat back the so-called Islamic state.
Sweden’s defence minister Peter Hultqvist made the invitation – the meeting will be at senior official level – while at a meeting of defence ministers in Washington DC. There, ministers discussed recent successes for the coalition against Isis, also known as Daesh.
“It was noted that a number of cities have been liberated and that progress has been made against Daesh and that they have been pushed back,” Hultqvist told Swedish news agency TT.
“And naturally we also discussed coming plans, such as the liberation of Mosul and Raqqa. These are two extremely important operations that are now being prepared and will be carried through.”
Liberating Mosul is seen not only as a major military challenge, but may have huge humanitarian consequences, with millions of people potentially being forced to flee their homes.
“Everything being done also needs to be discussed in a broader perspective, with humanitarian and stabilising measures and long-term measures to build social structures. That we can’t just see this from a military perspective was evident today,” Hultqvist said.
Ministers in Washington also discussed how the coalition can increase military contributions. So far Sweden has sent 35 troops to Iraq to train local forces.
“I have made clear that, subject to parliamentary approval, we’re prepared to double our troop contribution from 35 to 70,” he said.