Policy Areas

The situation in Iraq and the way forward

In a foreign policy address to Norwegian Parliament 23 November, Foreign Minister Jan Petersen spoke about the current situation in Iraq and how the international community shares the responsibility for what happens there. The Minister also commented on the role of the EU, notably that the EU has offered to assist in training Iraqi police officers.

24/11/2004 :: The EU is also offering a package of measures to assist with the election process, including a proposed contribution to the UN protection force, further support for the election preparations, the provision of election experts and measures to strengthen the political dialogue. The Norwegian Government will respond to Iraq’s appeal to the UN for support for the election preparations by disbursing as soon as possible NOK 14 million of the transitional assistance to the UN, preferably earmarked for this purpose.

Furthermore, Mr. Petersen said that Norway will reopen its embassy in Baghdad as soon as the security situation allows. Providing effective financial, political and other assistance to Iraq will require a Norwegian presence. Until the embassy is in place, the ambassador in Amman will also be accredited to Iraq.

At the international level the UN must take special responsibility for co-ordination, the Minister underlined. Only the world organisation can give these efforts the necessary authority and legitimacy. But it is also important to maintain and intensify the ongoing political dialogue across the Atlantic and between leading European countries. A sound foundation for this was laid at the NATO summit in Istanbul. ”To arrive at a common understanding of the situation and of what is needed to succeed in the reconstruction of Iraq, we must seek on both sides of the Atlantic”, Mr. Petersen said.

To read the whole statement, please click on the link on the right side of this page



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