‘Super diplomat’ heads for Syria

Geir O Pedersen is known as a “super diplomat” from Norway with high standing at the United Nations. It’s therefore no great surprise that he’d be tapped to become UN Secretary General António Guterres’ Special Envoy for Syria. The UN announced that Pedersen “brings to this position decades of political and diplomatic experience.” In addition […]

Norwegian released from arrest for terror financing

UPDATED: A Norwegian man who worked for a French company in Syria was arrested while changing planes at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris last week. He was charged with financing terrorism after allegedly paying off terrorist groups in the area around the French company’s plant, to ensure its safety, but was later released. […]

Careful response to attack in Syria

While allies like Canada, Denmark and Germany expressed “support” for Saturday’s attack by the US, UK and France on alleged chemical weapons plants in Syria, Norway’s response was more restrained. The government stated merely that it “understood” the attack, and the careful formulation was no coincidence. “The Norwegians’ choice of words has certainly been evaluated […]

Brende: US attack on Syria ‘understandable’

Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende said on Friday that the Norwegian government can “understand” why the US attacked a Syrian airbase believed responsible for bombing civilians with chemical weapons earlier in the week.  “The situation is complicated,” Brende told reporters in Beijing, where he and Prime Minister Erna Solberg are in the midst of a long-sought […]

Hussain indicted for ISIL recruitment

The Norwegian Islamic extremist Ubaydullah Hussain has been indicted for allegedly having recruited foreign warriors for ISIL forces in Syria. It’s the first time anyone has been indicted for terror recruitment in Norway. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Monday that Hussain, one of Norway’s most well-known Islamic extremists, is suspected of offering advice, buying equipment and providing […]

High court sends ISIL men to jail

Norway’s Supreme Court (Høyesterett) has sentenced three men, all Norwegian citizens, to jail terms of up to four-and-a-half years, after finding them guilty of having ties to a terrorist organization and supporting the brutal extremist group ISIL in Syria. The defendants’ sentences were reported to be a bit milder than those determined earlier by a Norwegian appeals […]

Norway’s anti-ISIL fight full of risk

Middle East experts and politicians claim the Norwegian government has embarked on a risky project by deciding to send Norwegian soldiers to Jordan to train “various Syrian groups” in the fight against brutal terrorist group ISIL. They warn that the biggest challenge lies in identifying who the Norwegian troops should train, while others cite the lack of a long-term […]

Fewer refugees expected this year

Norway’s Justice Ministry has dramatically cut the numbers of refugees expected to arrive in the country this year, down to “most probably” 25,000 from as many as 60,000 predicted earlier. Frode Forfang, director of immigration agency UDI, has expressed uncertainty, though, since the numbers hinge on asylum policy and the degree of border controls both around Norway […]

Solberg rejects Russian ‘rhetoric’

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has forcefully rejected what she called “Cold War rhetoric” from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev over the weekend. Just hours after leaving an international security conference in Munich, she blamed Russia for stirring up rising tensions between Russia and many other countries over the past two years. “It was Russia that […]

Jan Egeland coordinating Syrian aid

Veteran Norwegian diplomat Jan Egeland, a former UN special envoy who most recently has been heading the Norwegian Refugee Council, has been tapped to head the group coordinating aid to Syrians in the wake of a stated cease-fire on Thursday. He got to work right away, and told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Friday that he thinks […]