iraq

Bildt on WikiLeaks' latest: "That's not what happened"

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt has now commented for the first time on why Sweden re-opened its embassy in Iraq. Information from WikiLeaks implies that Bildt, along with the migration minister, Tobias Billström, had made the embassy's re-opening contingent upon Iraq agreeing to repatriate asylum seekers whose applications Sweden refused.

But Bildt denies that this was a condition.

"We had an embassy there for a long time," Bildt told Swedish Radio news. "And then during the war, we moved the embassy to Amman. Then, we were interested in improving relations with Iraq in a number of different ways, since we have some 150,000 people with Iraqi backgrounds here in our country."

According to Bildt, making the repatriation agreement was just one of Sweden's hopes, and Iraq also showed interest in the arrangement.

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