Sweden Expands Role in Afghanistan

Swedish Defence Minister Leni Björklund met her American counterpart Donald Rumsfeld in Washington Monday. They discussed this country taking over responsibility for reconstruction around the city of Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai initially made the suggestion to Leni Björklund when she visited Kabul three weeks ago.         

Neutral Sweden would take over the responsibilities from Britain, as part of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. This would be the first time a non-member of the alliance leads such an operation for NATO.