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14. Februar 2005  
Bondevik accused of embarrassing Israel's leader

Prime ministers Sharon and BondevikAn Israeli newspaper Monday accused Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik of embarrassing his Israeli counterpart, Ariel Sharon, during a meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Newspaper Haaretz claimed the embarrassment arose after Bondevik asked Sharon why Israel continues to keep Palestinian offices in East Jerusalem closed. Bondevik referred to a letter that Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres sent to him in 1993, where Peres wrote that Palestinian offices in the area would be allowed to continue to operate.

Sharon reportedly responded that he could also show Bondevik several letters with promises from the Palestinians that weren't kept, either.

Haaretz also reported that Bondevik put Sharon on the spot again when he took up the controversial issue of the security wall that Israeli has built inside Palestinian territory. The wall has been internationally condemned as being illegal.

Bondevik reportedly mentioned the case of a Norwegian woman who is married to a Palestinian, who no longer has access to a hotel he owns because it's now cut off by the wall.

Bondevik said later that Sharon "had nothing to give" regarding the wall, indicating Israel has no plans to bow to international pressure and remove it.

Norway has long played an active role in Middle East peace efforts. Bondevik is in the area to meet with both Sharon and the new Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

Via Aftenposten News in English.


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