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16. Desember 2003  
Norwegian troops remain in Iraq

Foreign minister Jan PetersenNorway is going to contribute to the international stabilizing force in Iraq until the summer, said Jan Petersen, Norwegian foreign minister, during the meeting at Norwegian Parliament Monday.

The Norwegian contribution will remain on the same level as it is today, and the foreign minister stressed that the Norwegian troops in Iraq does not give Norway status as an occupational power in Iraq, according to the Norwegian news bureau (NTB).

Furthermore, the foreign minister stated that Norway is going to contribute in a larger degree to the reestablishment of a civilian police force and border police in Afghanistan. He stressed that Norwegian troops would remain in the country for a longer period of time.

slaug Haga, head of the Agricultural Party (Sp), said she is very critical to the foreign ministers account, and she stated that Norway should not be present in Iraq at all.

The foreign minister could have highlighted more problems than he did in his account, it was not very analytical, Hage said to NTB in statement Monday night. He could at least have contributed with attempts to analyse other problems like for example military efforts suitable to fight terrorism.

Carl I. Hagen, head of the Progress Party (Frp), said he was not particularly pleased with Petersens account, and he stated that the level for Norways military participation abroad has been reached, according to NTB.

Hagen claimed that the Norwegian military is about to become troops of a type of mercenaries which are sent around in the world.

Kristin Halvorsen, head of the Socialist Left Party (SV), was not either particularly pleased with the foreign ministers account.

The presentation only gives an overview over what we are doing today, and a little about what is going to happen in the future, Halvorsen said to NTB. Its shocking that we dont have a clearer political idea of what we wish to do.


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