Migration Minister Tobias Billström (M). Photo: Paul Madej/Scanpix

Billström defends himself from criticism

Migration minister Tobias Billström has defended himself from criticism over the weekend following an interview where he refused to answer the same question almost twenty times.

According to some leaked US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks, Billström and Bildt discussed Swedish refugee policy with American diplomats in Baghdad 2007, saying that they wanted to limit the amount of refugees coming to Sweden from Iraq because of the risk of honour-killings. It is also claimed they made the establishment of a Swedish embassy in Baghdad reliant on there being a deal with the Iraqi government on the repatriation of failed asylum seekers.

In an interview with Swedish TV Friday, Billström refused to talk about the leaks, saying the Swedish government doesn't comment on them as they are "third hand" evidence.

But on Sunday the minister told Swedish Radio news that he said the same things in the meeting in Baghdad as he has publicly.

"What I've said publicly in the Swedish asylum debate is what applies. I've never said anything different, neither in discussions with the US embassy on Baghdad nor anywhere else", he said.

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