Senior Saudi minister seeks military cooperation in SwedenAl-Swedenistan wants closer cooperation with Saudi Arabia. Sweden is a significant weapons manufacturer, and has contracts with other countries, stretching from Pakistan to Brazil:
Senior Saudi minister seeks military cooperation in Sweden
Saudi Arabia's Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid Bin Sultan and Swedish Defense Minister Leni Bjorklund signed a memorandum of understanding here on Tuesday over future military cooperation, Swedish media reported. The report said Saudi Arabia wants to buy an airborne radar system developed by Swedish companies Saab AB and LM Ericsson. Neither of the two companies has commented on the report.
Criticism of Saudi Military Cooperation
A senior Saudi government official visited Stockholm Tuesday to discuss military cooperation with Sweden. Saudi Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khalid Bin Sultan and Swedish Defence Minister Leni Bjorklund signed a memorandumof understanding about future military cooperation. Although the Saudi minister insisted that he was not in Sweden to shop, media is speculating that Saudi Arabia wants to buy an airborne radar system developed by Swedish companies. The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society has criticized the visit. In a statement, the organization’s chairwoman, Frida Blom, called Saudi Arabia ”one of the world’s most brutal dictatorships” andsaid it was a ”scandal” to invite high representativesfrom Saudi Arabia to discuss weapons sales. Speaking to reporters, Bjorklund acknowledged that ”the countries have differentviewpoints” on questions regarding the democratization ofSaudi Arabia, but added that Sweden and Saudi Arabia havequite a long period of cooperation.
"Mock tribunal" slams Swedish asylum policy
Sweden's asylum policy, often praised as one of the most welcoming in Europe, came under heavy fire on Tuesday for not living up to its ideals from intellectuals who attended a symposium in Stockholm. After a two-day hearing, they drew up a list of recommendations including holding Swedish authorities and officials criminally accountable for turning away people seeking asylum on legitimate grounds. "Swedes and people outside really put up Sweden as an example. We're hoping that Sweden can live up to its very good reputation ... and make its asylum policy more just and humane," opera singer Barbara Hendricks, an ambassador to the United Nations refugee agency, told AFP. Responding to some of the criticism, the Swedish parliament last week voted to temporarily give asylum seekers whose application have been rejected a second chance to obtain a residence permit. The asylum tribunal did not directly address the temporary law but hopes to influence a definitive law expected to go into effect next March.