Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Norway can do it: A more independent foreign policy is an option for a small country

Some Danish papers have been running a story on how the Norwegian foreign ministry has set-up a meeting with Hamas diplomats, and the Americans have pressured them to give it up. Ritzau news agency wrote two days ago:

The USA does not like Norway having contacts with the Palestinian Hamas government. The Norwegian minister of foreign affairs Jonas Gahr Støre, confirmed yesterday that the US has tried to get Norway to cancel a scheduled meeting between officials of the Norwegian Ministry of foreign Affairs and two representatives of Hamas. Støre confirms that the meeting will be held in May as scheduled.

The Norwegian foreign ministry has not cancelled the meeting. Norwegian vikings seem to have more backbone than the Danish ones.
It is important that the West, in this case particularly the EU, show more conciliatory attitudes to the "reformist" movements like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. The non-acceptance of Hamas on the part of for instance Jordan and other conservative Arab states is probably due to the fact that they fear that democratically elected Hamas may turn out to be a success, thus threatening their own authoritarian governments when populations see that democrtic elections are possible. That's why it's so important to continue supporting Hamas.

Yesterday Mahmoud Abbas, PA president, met with thre Norwegian cabinet ministers. They promised to continue economic support for to Palestinians. During a lecture at the Nobel Institute in Oslo, Abbas suggested holding an international peace conference between the Palestinians and Israel, and with participation of the Mid East quartet (UN, EU, US, Russia). The negotiations should be based on UN resolutions and previous negotiations between the parties.

4 Comments:

Blogger Sophia said...

''The non-acceptance of Hamas on the part of for instance Jordan and other conservative Arab states is probably due to the fact that they fear that democratically elected Hamas may turn out to be a success, thus threatening their own authoritarian governments when populations see that democrtic elections are possible. That's why it's so important to continue supporting Hamas.''
Right but these are servile regimes, also they do whatever the US tells them to do and the US is trying to crash every moral conscience in this world, country by country. So if a country accepts outsourcing torture and does nothing to ptrotect human rights, you can be sure that the standards of morality for citizens can go backward.

I am going to link to this post on my blog. Nobody is talking about this in the news.

4:06 AM  
Blogger Gert said...

When Belgium tried to deploy their anti-genocide law to indict Sharon over Sabra-Shatila, the US put pressure on the Belgian Government. They threatened to withdraw Nato Headquarters from Brussels. Sadly, the Belgians eventually caved in and extensive plans for the courtcase were shelved.

Belgium has in the mean time changed its anti-genocide law: it would still be possible to prosecute foreign perpetrators but only if there had also been some Belgian involvement in the genocide in question.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Sophia said...

Gert,
You are right. This was sadly a missed opportunity. I followed very closely the Sharon dossier. There might be another reason why they cave under pressure, the prosecution became very weak after Elie Hobeika, an old Phalangist collaborator of Israel in the eighties, turned into a strong man for the syrian regime in Lebanon in the nineties and still at the time of the Sharon prosecution, was assassinated by a massive car bomb in 2002 near his house in Achrafié, Beyrouth. Hobeika had accpeted and gave his word to the families of the victims to testify in the prosecution against Sharon. He was someone important in the Pahalangist militia at the time of the massacres and he could have been of tremendous importance to the prosecution.

However, the UN did not investigate this car bomb, neither the many others that took the lives of lebanese but it is following scrupulously US orders to investigate the assassination of their ally Hariri.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Gert said...

Yes, the Hobeika killing leaves open a lot of questions, I agree.

We may never know: it could just as well have been a resentful phalangist but Israeli involvement cannot be ruled out. Possibly both were involved. Lebanon was a murky mess at the time.

Regardless of the collapsing court case, the elimination of Hobeika as a key witness to the killings is tragic and clearly not a coincidence.

8:19 AM  

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