Norway relieved over ceasefire

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide was on national radio Friday morning, expressing relief that the Israelis and Palestinians had finally gone along with a ceasefire after 11 days of what she called “intense” fighting. Norway has a long history of trying to end the constant conflicts between the two sides, with little […]

Norway nudges Saudi Arabia

Human rights were on the agenda when Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide visited Saudi Arabia this week during a Middle East tour filled with “political conversations.” Søreide was keen on nudging Saudi Arabia towards showing more respect for human rights, while the Saudis claim they won’t let anyone tell them what to do. “Saudi Arabia […]

Trump ‘peace plan’ is ‘unacceptable’

The Norwegian government, actively involved in Middle East peace talks for years, has toughened its stance against a new plan unveiled earlier this week by the controversial leaders of the US and Israel. Norway usually goes along with US policy, but the plan presented by US President Donald Trump has now been branded as “unacceptable.” […]

Norway will pull out of Iraq, if asked

Just hours before delivering his annual New Year’s address Monday evening, Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen couldn’t predict the fate of Norwegian soldiers in Iraq or what NATO might do regarding new and rapidly rising tensions in the Middle East. Bakke-Jensen, however, has said Norway will pull its roughly 70 soldiers out of Iraq if Iraq formally […]

Palestinian leader seeks help in Oslo

A helicopter whirred overhead and security was predictably tight when the beleaguered president of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, arrived in Oslo Wednesday. He left a tense Middle East in the middle of new conflicts and just as votes were being counted after Israel’s latest election thriller, apparently to seek more sympathy and support […]

Shipping braves new gulf risks

Nearly 40 ships with ownership ties to Norwegian investors have been in or around Hormuz and the gulfs on both sides this week. They’re braving threats of arrest or sabotage amid high political tension but also higher oil prices and chartering rates. Norway’s venerable shipping industry has long lived with political risk around the world. […]

Norway halts arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Norway won’t be issuing new licenses for the export of defense-related equipment to Saudi Arabia, Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide announced on Friday. The Norwegian government won’t allow exports of Norwegian weapons or ammunition, after “an overall evaluation” of developments in Saudi Arabia and the region. “We have decided that in the current situation, new […]

US opens doors to Solberg & Søreide

Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, fresh from her first official trip to the Middle East, was heading for Washington DC on Tuesday where she’ll team up with Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Together they’ll be having meetings on Wednesday with US President Donald Trump and all three of Trump’s men responsible for defense and foreign […]

Diplomats ‘star’ in award-winning play

Veteran Norwegian diplomat Terje Rød-Larsen thinks it was a bit “embarrassing” to see himself portrayed in the hit play Oslo on Broadway. Now it’s won the US’ Tony Award as the best play of the year in New York, depicting the drama behind Norway’s landmark but failed attempt to broker peace in the Middle East […]

Norwegian leaders mourn Peres’ death

UPDATED: Prime Minister Erna Solberg, her foreign minister Børge Brende and leaders of the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo were among those mourning the death of former Israeli President Shimon Peres during the night. The Nobel Peace Center quickly set up a memorial protocol where others could pay their respects, and Brende will be attending […]