Source: Army Recognition
Swedish military troops in Afghanistan with armoured combat vehicle CV90 (Archive)
According to Swedish news outlet The Local, Sweden’s prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said in an interview that he is ready to discuss the possibility of sending Swedish troops to Libya to help guarantee the country’s security.
“What’s important now is to get in place a civilian rule willing to take the country in a democratic direction,” Reinfeldt told Sveriges Radio (SR) in response to a question about whether he was ready to Swedish troops to Libya to guarantee security in a post-Qaddafi era.
The prime minister stressed the need for Libya to draft a constitution, get the economy going and the importance of providing humanitarian aid to the suffering country, in order to bring about sustainable and long-term development.
“This is a hope of a change for the better, of better times to come, which we are witnessing, just like in many other Arabic countries,” Reinfeldt said.
Unlike nations like the UK, the US and France, Sweden has not recognised the Libyan rebel council, the NTC, as the country’s legitimate representative.
“We can’t recognise a government that hasn’t got control over its territory. The NTC is an important actor in negotiations but most contacts are currently being done through EU representatives,” Anders Jörle of the foreign ministry information department told news site Nyheter24, referring to the Libyan Interim National Transitional Council.
Jörle also said that Sweden would recognise whatever regime taking control over the war torn country.
Sweden, along with the NATO-aligned Nordic nations of Denmark and Norway, contributed fighter jet squadrons and support crews as part of NATO’s Unified Protector no-fly zone operation launched in March.
Only Finland among the Nordic countries did not contribute a fighter squadron, although the country has informed the U.N. and NATO that it is ready to discuss sending ground troops and civilian crisis-management units to Libya, said Erkki Tuomioja, Finland’s foreign minister.
Tuomioja said it was too early at this stage to talk about when such a deployment would take place, or if it would be a Finnish or a joint Nordic force.