Policy. Prime minister Stefan Löfven took up human rights, women’s rights issues and the death penalty, when he met Saudi leaders.
– We explain very clearly to the Swedish positions, ” he said at a press briefing.
Stefan Löfven met today the three most powerful people in saudi Arabia: king Salman, the crown prince Muhammad bin Nayif, and the deputy crown prince Muhammad bin Salman. Later gave the prime minister a press briefing.
On TT’s question about Löfven raised the issue of the dissident saudi blogger Raif Badawi who has been sentenced to ten years in prison and a thousand lashes he does not want to name which individual cases of human rights he discussed with his saudi hosts.
– But we also take up individual cases.
The two crown princes are influential and, in particular, the deputy crown prince takes the great place. He is in his mid-30s, the son of king Salman, the defense minister and also responsible for the Vision 2030, the economic reform programmes to make oljeriket less dependent on oil revenues.
Important trading partners
video: is pointing to the fact that saudi Arabia is an important trading partner for Sweden. At the same time, he underlines that cooperation can be developed in areas such as education, health, innovations and environmental technologies.
– It is to the benefit of both Sweden and saudi Arabia.
Löfven said to Swedish arms exports, which plummeted dramatically, has been in the news during the visit.
– There is nothing we have discussed here, not a question.
Löfven said that he also talked with the saudi side about the war in Yemen, and not least the war in Syria.
– It has had a prominent place.
Hard for women
the Prime minister started the day with a visit to a really mönsterföretag, from the western point of view. Glowork has the mission to recruit women, and employing steadily more.
But the challenges for women who want to work are many in saudi Arabia, where men and women live strictly separate rules. One of the barriers for women are that they are not allowed to drive a car, it is expensive to hire a driver and some families do not want the women to go with men outside the family. Both religion and tradition stand in the way.
“On its way”
Thoraya Obaid, with a long career in the UN and at harvard university, has lived for 35 years outside the kingdom of saudi Arabia. Now she has returned and is sitting in the shura council, whose members are appointed by the king, and to have an advisory role. She notes that things are moving forward for women, but very slowly.
– We are not a country where one makes a revolution, it is more evolution, ” she says at the meeting with the prime minister of Glowork.
Stefan Löfven stresses the importance of more women in the labour market, for their sakes, businesses and the country’s economy.
– But it is important to see that we are two separate communities. Here is a development that they do in their own way, ” says Löfven and repeat Thoraya Obaids words, that development is not done with the revolution in saudi Arabia.
Riyadh, TT’s posted