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foreign policy

Bildt defends himself over Libya statement

Updated onsdag 23 februari 2011 kl 18.00
Published tisdag 22 februari 2011 kl 11.12
Gustav Fridolin wants to know what foreign minister means

Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has defended himself against criticism by members of the opposition for a statement he made about Libya on Monday. Bildt had said then that "it is not a question of supporting one side or the other, it is a question of getting stability and a reasonable development."

The organisation of Social Democrat women called the statement "upsetting and embarrassing", while the Left party foreign policy spokesperson called Bildt "remarkably spineless", demanding he take a clearer stand in favour of the demonstrators.

The green party MP Gustav Fridolin filed a written question to the Foreign Minister. He wanted to know if Sweden stands neutral between democracy and dictatorship. He compared it to what Bildt said about Tunisia and Egypt and demands a clarification.

But Bildt has now dismissed the criticism, telling news agency TT that Sweden has been an instigating force when it comes to the EU's critical stance.

In response to Fridolin's question, Bildt says, "Naturally, he knows the answer, himself. It's very clear from the statement we made, so it's a bit of an inadequate reading. I suspect it has to do with partisan politics."

Carl Bildt is currently in Egypt looking at ways Sweden and the EU can help develop the democratisation process there.

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