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Swedish party won't push for NATO

Jan. 16, 2006 at 10:40 PM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Sweden's Moderate Party says it will not try to take Sweden into NATO if it wins September's election.

Party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt said the party still believed in NATO membership for Sweden, but opposition to the move meant that there was no point in the Moderates trying to push the issue, The Local newspaper reported.

Reinfeldt says that a broad consensus would be required to take Sweden into the organization. But, he said, "Sweden ought to be involved in some kind of international partnership."

Social Democrats have long opposed joining NATO.

"We see no reason to join. Freedom from military alliances gives us independence and the possibility to participate in all sorts of international partnership for peace," said Laila Freivalds, foreign minister in the Social Democratic government.

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