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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Bolivia’s president in town

Bolivian President Evo Morales has been in Oslo this week for meetings with top Norwegian officials, including King Harald. His visit was mostly aimed at talks about oil, gas and the climate, but a court case involving Norwegian defendants also came up.

Morales was well aware of the drug charges against three young Norwegian women who were caught with 22 kilos of cocaine in their suitcases while attempting to leave Bolivia two years ago. While one defendant fled home to Norway, the two others recently were sentenced to 13 years in prison and have since appealed.

Morales told reporters he was making sure their human rights were being protected, and Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said Norwegian officials “respected the integrity of the Bolivian court system.” Neither intends to interfere with the court process.

Støre said the case played only a small role in official talks with Bolivia’s president, who otherwise said he had a lot to learn about Norway’s management of its oil and gas resources. Morales said that guidance and support from Norway will be important as Bolivia now develops its own natural resources.

Morales is also deeply concerned by climate issues and met with Norway’s environmental minister Erik Solheim as well. Morales has urged industrialized countries to cut their emissions by as much as 50 percent, according to news bureau NTB, and advocates limiting global warming to one degree.

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