103405 4/5/2007 12:50 07STOCKHOLM368 Embassy Stockholm CONFIDENTIAL 07STATE36991|07STATE37005|07STATE43389|07STOCKHOLM312|07STOCKHOLM315|07STOCKHOLM366 VZCZCXYZ0000 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHSM #0368 0951250 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 051250Z APR 07 FM AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1930 INFO RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 4566 RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0423 RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 2179 RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI 0270 RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0364 RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 0257 RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 3766 RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0273 RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 3029 RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 2397 RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW 2368 RUEHPG/AMEMBASSY PRAGUE 0954 RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST 0071 RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA 0473 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST 0390 RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 0141 RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 0083 RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 0172 RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0448 RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK 0075 RUEHTL/AMEMBASSY TALLINN 2305 RUEHVL/AMEMBASSY VILNIUS 2006 RUEHLE/AMEMBASSY LUXEMBOURG 0949 RUEHRA/AMEMBASSY RIGA 0852 RUEHSL/AMEMBASSY BRATISLAVA 0114 RUEHLJ/AMEMBASSY LJUBLJANA 0196 RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0013 RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO BRUSSELS BE RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS C O N F I D E N T I A L STOCKHOLM 000368
FOR EUR/PGI M COOK AND S/WCI AMBASSADOR WILLIAMSON
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/05/2017 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PHUM, PINR, KAWC, PTER, XG, SW SUBJECT: SWEDEN SAYS NO TO ACCEPTING GUANTANAMO DETAINEES
REF: A. STOCKHOLM 315 B. STATE 36991 C. STATE 37005 D. STATE 43389 E. STOCKHOLM 366 F. STOCKHOLM 312
Classified By: Polcouns Casey Christensen, reason 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (c) MFA Political Director Olof Skoog told Polcouns 4/5 that the GoS had carefully considered but could not agree to the U.S. request to accept Guantanamo detainees (refs A-D). Skoog said the request had been reviewed by all relevant elements of the Swedish government, and there were compelling reasons Sweden could not accede to the request. Sweden was experiencing a tremendous surge in asylum seekers, particularly from Iraq (refs E, F). He said that in 2006, Sweden had taken in 9,000 Iraqi asylum seekers, half of the total going to EU states. This year, the GoS was projecting 25,000 from Iraq -- and this number would be increased by later family unifications. This was putting a tremendous strain on the budget.
2. (c) Skoog also noted legal and technical difficulties regarding the request. The Swedish Migration Board was an independent agency; the GoS could not take decisions on granting residence permits. Intervening politically in this process would be difficult. Sweden had already set its resettlement quota for the year and was focusing on burden-sharing arrangements with countries that were undergoing refugee surges, such as Burmese entering Thailand, or Iraqis in Syria and Jordan. This created substantial "bureaucratic" impediments to considering a request from the U.S.
3. (c) Skoog added that an additional impediment -- security -- had not been considered by the GoS in connection with this request because specific names were not provided, but security considerations would render Sweden's acceptance of any Guantanamo detainees even more difficult. This had been, Skoog noted, a determining factor in denying our prior request for Sweden to accept two Uighur detainees from Guantanamo.
4. (c) Comment: Skoog was at pains to make the "no" answer clear, while justifying the GoS position by noting how Sweden is doing its share and more in dealing with other resettlement effects of the conflicts in Iraq and elsewhere. MALCIK