Saudi weapons debate begins in parliament

The controversial issue of Sweden's secret involvement in plans to build a weapons factory in Saudi Arabia, revelations of which hastened the departure from office of defence minister Sten Tolgfors, is being debated in parliament today at the request of the Left Party.

Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt opened this afternoon's debate describing the Arab Spring and how at the same time Sweden was exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia. He asked, "Is it reasonable that we export weapons to dictators?"

Foreign Minister Carld Bildt defended government policy and said that Swedish weapons exports are under rigorous and restrictive control.

The debate continues.