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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Norway defends talks with terrorists

“Sometimes it’s unfortunately correct to talk with terrorists,” read the headline on an editorial in Norway’s largest newspaper, Aftenposten, this week. It came after Norway’s foreign ministry had confirmed that Norwegian diplomats and politicians have met with representatives for the Houthis in Yemen, even though they’re on the US’ terrorist list.

The ministry told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that Norway “has had contact with the Houthis for some time, tied to the conflict and the UN’s role in Yemen.” State Secretary Andreas Kravik of the Labour Party has also recently met with the Houthis in Oman, who support the Palestinians, while representatives from the Norwegian foreign ministry have been in Yemen’s capital Sanaa.

Talks have centered on finding a solution for the lengthy civil war in Yemen. Norwegian envoys have also been in contact regarding the Houthis’ recent attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, with Kravik telling NRK that Norway also has condemned the attacks and urged the Houthis to deescalate.

A representative for the Houthis told NRK that contact was “at a high level” and that Norway was respected in Yeman for refusing to halt humanitarian aid to the country despite the attacks on shipping. Norway has contributed to military efforts to halt the attacks, but the representative said Norway “has clean hands in Yemen. People in Yemen can rely on Norway.” Negotiations reportedly continue. staff



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