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Sweden: Defence Minister quits over Saudi weapons deal

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Sweden: Defence Minister quits over Saudi weapons deal


After weeks of intense pressure, Sten Tolgfors has quit as Sweden’s defence minister over reports the Nordic state planned to help Saudi Arabia build a weapons factory.

Sweden prides itself on standing up for human rights and the reports about aid for the weapons plant sparked an outcry.

A public radio station initially published plans for a state-run defence agency known as FOI to help Saudi Arabia. Tolgfors denied having any knowledge of the scheme and stated that FOI had overstepped its authority.

Days before the scandal broke, the prime minister defended the deals. Agreements were struck with Saudi Arabia in 2005 under the then centre-left government and renewed five years later by Sweden’s ruling centre-right party.

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