Labour Party politicians have said they’re surprised that some top Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet, Frp) counterparts hope their own government will turn down a request from the US, Russia and the UN to destroy some of Syria’s chemical weapons in Norway.
The Frp politicians deny they’re gearing for a confrontation with new Foreign Minister Børge Brende from the Conservative Party. “No, no, no!” Frp MP Christian Tybring-Gjedde told newspaper Aftenposten, after telling the paper yesterday that he and other party members were skeptical about destroying any weapons in Norway. Brende has already set up an expert group to evaluate whether it’s possible for Norway to help with the destruction of Syria’s deadly chemical arsenal.
Kristian Norheim, Frp’s foreign policy spokesman, also has told newspaper Aftenposten that he’s skeptical about taking on responsibility for the weapons. That prompted Anniken Huitfeldt of Labour to say she was surprised that neither Norheim nor Tybring-Gjedde waited to see what the expert group recommends before arriving at any conclusions.
Norheim and Tybring-Gjedde now say they will wait, and claim they do want to “coordinate” Frp’s foreign policy outlook with their own government partners in the Conservatives. “We will wait for the experts’ conclusions and then the costs will also be on the table,” Tybring-Gjedde told Aftenposten.