Said Mohammed stands at his son's grave in Yemen.

Said Mohammed's 8-month-old son starved to death during the ongoing war in Yemen. Photo: Nariman El-Mofty, AP (CC BY 2.0)

Current debate

Sweden - arms exporter and peace broker?

Swedish arms exports contribute, according to some, to what has been described as the worst humanitarian crisis in modern times: the war in Yemen. At the same time, many are putting their hopes in future peace negotiations - with the help of Sweden.

There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia and the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi are a hotly debated topic right now. The opinions of the Swedish debaters differ. Dagens Nyheter's editorial board describes how Saudi military planes bomb school children in Yemen, and at the same time notes Sweden's involvement in the war:

"The Western world has given Yemen distracted interest, but also acted as an accomplice. Saudi Arabia has been Washington's ally for 70 years. […] Britain and France also sell weapons to the royal dictatorship, and so has Sweden. "

The editors conclude their analysis of the world around them by informing the United States and the warring parties about how desperate the situation in Yemen actually is.

The criticism becomes somewhat harsher when Linda Åkerström, from the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Association, in Svenska Dagbladet criticizes Sweden's arms exports to Saudi Arabia, among other places - which she believes could jeopardize Sweden's security in the future. Brazil and the Philippines are also on the list of countries with authoritarian leaders to which Sweden sells munitions. Åkerström sums up:

"The question we must ask ourselves is: As more and more right-wing nationalist leaders gain power, how can we use our voice to stand on the side that fights to uphold human rights and democratic principles?"

Despite Sweden's billion - dollar deals with controversial countries, there are some who claim that Stockholm in particular could serve as a host city for a future peace talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia - the countries that support each side in Yemen's civil war. US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis believes that Sweden has diplomatic relations with both countries - and therefore fits well as a peace broker. But it will require major foreign policy decisions, which will not be simplified by the current government formation.

Expressen's editorial board, however, sees the government issue as a minor detail and states that "If Sweden has the opportunity to speed up the peace process, we should take the chance - with or without a new government."

Saudi Arabia and Yemen

Saudi Arabia must stop bombing children in Yemen
DN's editorial staff, Dagens Nyheter

Sweden helps powerful and dangerous leaders
Linda Åkerström, Svenska Dagbladet

The Stockholm summit could stop the war in Yemen
Expressen's editorial staff. Expressen

The climate

The UN ignores the environmental economy
Bjørn Lomborg. Swedish daily newspaper

Wanted: Migration policy that takes into account climate change
Nasra Ali, Today's ETC

Climate change respects no borders
Oskar Adenfeldt, Hedvig Heijne and Yasmin Argan Modéer, Sydsvenskan

Nuclear weapons

The will of the people for nuclear weapons should prevail
Elisabeth Mühlhäuser and Emilia Mühlhäuser, Dagens ETC

Assistance

Budget support has been misunderstood 
Karl-Anders Larsson, OmVärlden

Yes, aid is needed for peace work
Annica Hjerling (MP) and Anders Österberg (s), Aftonbladet

Is there something in the text that is incorrect? Contact us at opinion@fuf.se

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