Human Rights or Cash? Swedish Arms Exports Shows Differences With US, UK

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SHAFAQNA - Sweden’s parliament has recommended cutting arms exports to countries that it considers to be undemocratic as part of plans to emphasize the importance of human rights issues in relation to trade. The moves have highlighted the differences between Sweden and other western countries on the issue.

Under the proposals, Sweden would be the first country in the world to introduce specific sets of democratic criteria when it comes to exporting weapons, by judging countries individually, based on their civil and political rights, and the nature of their democratic institutions.

“A country’s democratic status will be a central condition for an export permit,” politician Hans Wallmark said while presenting a committee report on the issue.

Prime Minister Stefan Lovren’s government has taken a keen interest in ensuring that human rights concerns are central to its foreign policy.

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