Saudi Arabia denied any deal with Sweden to build an arms factory.
“The Saudi Defense Ministry affirms that no accord has been signed in the past with the friendly Kingdom of Sweden to build a weapons factory in Saudi Arabia and that no such project exists,” a Ministry source was quoted as saying.
Public broadcaster Swedish Radio has said the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI) had secret plans since 2007 to help Saudi Arabia build a plant for the production of anti-tank weapons.
The radio said part of the “Project Simoom” involved the creation of a shell company called SSTI to handle dealings with Saudi Arabia, in order to avoid any direct links to FOI and the government.
According to FOI Website, Sveriges (Swedish) Radio’s news program Ekot has published information concerning Sweden's relationship with Saudi Arabia based on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on military cooperation that was signed by the government in April 2005 and which came into force in November that same year.
This MOU (SÖ 2005:59) can be read in full here.
The Ekot news story concerning the role of FOI is subject to Sweden's Official Secrets Act. As such FOI is unable to comment on the details in the media story. This also means that FOI cannot comment on the contents of the document on the cooperation agreement that has been published on the Sveriges Radio website.
FOI is an assignment-funded Swedish authority whose main clients are the Swedish Armed Forces, the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV) and other authorities. All partnerships with international organizations are subject to Swedish government approval. All partnerships are subject to Swedish export control legislation. The cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia does not include any project agreements today.
Source: Saudi Gazette; FOI