lundin oil

Left slams Bildt's position on Libya

No one wants Western soldiers on the ground in Libya, and the Swedish government has no plans to send Swedish soldiers to war, said Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt in a parliamentary debate on Thursday about the situation of the North African nation.

Bildt said that a no-fly zone over Libya would not be enough, according to news agency TT. "What we want is to stop tanks and artillery and massacres. That requires a clearn UN mandate," he said, adding, "the earlier, the better." After that, he said, the issue is about helping to build a new society.

The debate was called by the Left Party in reaction to Bildt's comment during the beginning of the crisis in Libya. Then, Bildt had said, "It is not a question of supporting one side or the other, it is a question of getting stability and a reasonable development."

The Opposition lashed out at Bildt during the Debate, but Fredrik Malme of the Liberals also joined in the criticism, saying that Sweden should act for the EU and the rest of the world to stop the killings.

The Left, the Social Democrats, and the Greens complained that Bildt was too passive and had lost his moral compass when it came to the Libya crisis.

Hans Lindhe, the foreign policy spokesperson for the Left party, criticized Bildt for not taking a hard enough line against the Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. "Why this passifity and silence? Why is it so hard to give the fighting Libyan people his support?" asked Lindhe.

Lindhe also pointed out that Bildt has had private connections to the Libyan regime, since 2000, when he became a board member of Lundin Oil, which according to the tabloid Expressen, made big investments in Libya and borrowed money from banks that are owned in large part by the Libyan state.

"That (Libya) systematically violates human rights didn't bother Lundin," said Lindhe.