Mystery of Moroccan handover deepens / News / The Foreigner

Mystery of Moroccan handover deepens. Minister of Defence calls marines’ participation “unacceptable”. The Khalid Skah/Anne Cecilie Hopstock saga continues to unfold. According to the most recent accounts, the two marine commandos were on holiday when they picked the children up.Inappropriate behaviour “Both the head of the military and the Department of Defence find it unacceptable that military personnel participate in such actions, even though they were on holiday at the time. No other authority is permitted to give any type of assignment to them,” said Grete Faremo, the Minister of Defence, at a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre today.

khalid, skah, anne, cecilie, hopstock, grete, faremo, jonas, gahr, stoere, morocco, moroccan, norway, norwegian, ambassador, embassy, minister, defence, foreign, affairs, ahdih, bouchaab, children,



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Mystery of Moroccan handover deepens

Published on Monday, 1st February, 2010 at 21:27 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 1st February 2010 at 23:11.

Minister of Defence calls marines’ participation “unacceptable”.

Grete Faremo
Grete Faremo
Photo: Taral Jansen/Forsvaret


The Khalid Skah/Anne Cecilie Hopstock saga continues to unfold. According to the most recent accounts, the two marine commandos were on holiday when they picked the children up.

Inappropriate behaviour

“Both the head of the military and the Department of Defence find it unacceptable that military personnel participate in such actions, even though they were on holiday at the time. No other authority is permitted to give any type of assignment to them,” said Grete Faremo, the Minister of Defence, at a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre today.

Though Faremo went on to say that no military equipment was used during the operation to return the children to Norway, she couldn’t answer what the consequences the action would have for the marines, reports NRK.

Classified

Sverre Diesen
Sverre Diesen
Per Arne Juvang/Forsvaret
NTB reveals that Sverre Diesen – head of the military at the time of the mission – had already sent a classified letter in the summer, warning of existing connections between military personnel and the private security business.

Amongst the addressees were the Inspector General of the Navy – who will now decide what criminal action will be brought against the two – and Marine Command.

Threats

Whilst Støre, for his part, continued to maintain the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wasn’t involved in the operation, but admits they were uncomfortably forced to open the Rabat embassy’s gates because the children were in danger.

“The handover was done at the mother’s request. We let our staff down there decide how this should be accomplished, but had received threats against the embassy, and (were guarding) the embassy at the time the children stayed there. I therefore think it was natural that we didn’t just open the gates and let them go,” he said.

Diplomatic repercussions

Støre says he has also talked with the Moroccan embassy in Oslo today, assuring them that Norwegian authorities weren’t involved in smuggling the children out of the country.

However, Ahdih Bouchaab, the Moroccan Ambassador, told NRK that he believes the mission last July was illegal, lending further support to what Skah has already claimed. He hoped the incident wouldn’t harm relations between the two countries.

“You should never do others what you would not like to be done to you. You can draw your conclusions based on that,” Bouchaab told NRK in today’s interview.




Published on Monday, 1st February, 2010 at 21:27 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 1st February 2010 at 23:11.

This post has the following tags: khalid, skah, anne, cecilie, hopstock, grete, faremo, jonas, gahr, stoere, morocco, moroccan, norway, norwegian, ambassador, embassy, minister, defence, foreign, affairs, ahdih, bouchaab, children, .





  
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