On Swedish opinion pages during the past week, most debaters were positive that Sweden's long application process to NATO seems to be coming to an end. Pictured: Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (M) (left) next to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (right). Photo: NATO. Source: Flickr.

Current debate

Week 9: Debaters want Sweden to advocate disarmament - even as a NATO member

On February 26, Hungary's parliament voted yes to Swedengiven NATO membership, and now is that only formalities left before Sweden becomes a full member of the military alliance. This was the focus of the debate and leader pages during the past week, and most of them debaters were positive about Sweden's move towards NATO. Fclay underlined However, the importance of continuing to be a voice for peace and limitation of nuclear weapons. Aid to UNRWA, the UN aid organization for Palestinian refugees, also continued to be debated. 

- Sweden has finally found home, writes Svenska Dagbladet's editor-in-chief after Hungary's vote on Sweden's NATO membership.

The editorial board believes that Sweden must take responsibility for its security and defense capabilities, which is best done in cooperation with countries with similar values.

Even Sweden's former prime minister, Magdalena Andersson (S), stands behind NATO's strategy and is positively disposed to Sweden's step towards the NATO alliance.

- Our membership will strengthen our ability to defend our country's freedom, our democracy and our way of life, she writes in Dagens Nyheter together with party colleagues Peter Hultqvist and Morgan Johansson.

They believe that Russia's invasion of Ukraine meant a comprehensive change in the global security order where Sweden's long military non-alignment was no longer possible. The S-tops also underline the ambitions with membership in NATO - and mention, among other things, that Sweden must contribute with strong military capability by reaching NATO's demand for defense funding of two percent of GDP and that Sweden must participate in building a strong Nordic defense cooperation for to strengthen NATO's deterrence capability. At the same time, they want Sweden to be a strong voice for nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, democracy and human rights.

The latter is also emphasized by Anders Lindberg, political editor-in-chief at Aftonbladet.

- We can continue to argue for limitations of nuclear weapons and for the rights of small countries. For international law and peace. For Kurdish rights in Turkey and the rule of law in Hungary, he writes.

Henrik Jalalian, lead writer at Dagens ETC, feels a certain sadness that Sweden is changing direction after 200 years of non-alignment.

- A policy which, in its best moments, contributed to détente in our part of the world, he writes.

However, he believes that one should avoid mixing issues such as climate and human rights with NATO.

- NATO's mandate should be kept as narrow as possible.

Continued debate on aid to UNRWA

The frozen aid to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, is still current on the Swedish opinion pages. The allegations that a dozen UNRWA staff were involved in the Hamas terrorist attack on 7 October are serious and must be followed up, but it is irresponsible and disproportionate to withdraw aid in the dire situation of the civilian population of Gaza. This is written by the former Swedish foreign ministers Margot Wallström and Jan Eliasson together with Anna Sundström, secretary general at the Olof Pale International Center, in Aftonbladet.

- It is about life and death for hundreds of thousands of people, they write.

Sida has carried out two investigations of organizations in Palestine that have received Swedish aid. The authority sees no obstacles to resuming the payments, and Dagens Nyheter's lead writer Max Hjelm believes that the government is delaying the process - which Palestinians have to suffer from.

- The government is putting up smoke screens. Johan Forssell should just say it like it is - he is looking for reasons not to send money to Palestine, he writes.

Sweden's NATO membership

Now Sweden has come home 

Svenska Dagbladet's editorial board 

"Sweden makes NATO stronger and safer" 

Magdalena Andersson (S), party chairman; Peter Hultqvist (S), defense policy spokesperson; Morgan Johansson (S), foreign policy spokesperson, Dagens Nyheter 

Putin killed 200 years of military non-alignment 

Anders Lindberg, political editor-in-chief, Aftonbladet 

We must resist these temptations in NATO 

Henrik Jalalian, editorial writer, Dagens ETC 

Finally NATO – but the journey has only just begun 

Dagens Nyheter's editorial staff 

"Again" - that's how yes sounds in Hungarian. 

Heidi Avellan, editorial writer, Sydsvenskan 

 "Europe needs its own nuclear umbrella" 

Carl Albinsson, program manager Timbro, Dagens Nyheter Debatt

Aid to Palestine

Sweden must reopen support to UNRWA

Margot Wallström, chairman of Olof Palme's international center and former Swedish foreign minister; Jan Eliasson, former Deputy Secretary General of the UN and Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs; Anna Sundström, general secretary of Olof Palme's international center, Aftonbladet 

The government should just admit – it does not want to support Palestine

Max Hjelm, editorial writer, Dagens Nyheter's editor-in-chief 

The Gazans in the food queue were not terrorists

Susanna Kierkegaard, editorial writer, Aftonbladet 

Oppression and hunger under Hamas

Susanna Popova, editorial writer, Svenska Dagbladet 

Is there something in the text that is not correct? Contact us at opinion@fuf.se

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