Norway Prime Minister out of US disfavour? / News / The Foreigner

Norway Prime Minister out of US disfavour?. As Jens Stoltenberg prepares to meet President Barack Obama at the White House, it is revealed the Prime Minister has been caught making false claims. Relations between the two countries were chilled in 2005 following US outrage at Stoltenberg’s alleged untrustworthiness. Several sources indicate he lied about what was said in a congratulatory phone call from George W. Bush. Following his government’s General Election victory, Jens Stoltenberg told three major Norwegian papers he had informed President Bush Norway was to withdraw its remaining troops in Iraq, stationed to train the country’s military. Several independent Norwegian and American officials deny this, reports Aftenposten.

jensstoltenberg, barackobama, iraqwar



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Norway Prime Minister out of US disfavour?

Published on Wednesday, 19th October, 2011 at 12:37 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 19th October 2011 at 14:22.

As Jens Stoltenberg prepares to meet President Barack Obama at the White House, it is revealed the Prime Minister has been caught making false claims.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in Paris
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in Paris
Photo: Office of the Prime Minister/Flickr


Relations between the two countries were chilled in 2005 following US outrage at Stoltenberg’s alleged untrustworthiness. Several sources indicate he lied about what was said in a congratulatory phone call from George W. Bush.

Following his government’s General Election victory, Jens Stoltenberg told three major Norwegian papers he had informed President Bush Norway was to withdraw its remaining troops in Iraq, stationed to train the country’s military. Several independent Norwegian and American officials deny this, reports Aftenposten.

A senior US source tells the paper, “The problem wasn’t that Norway was withdrawing its officers from a NATO operation, it was that Stoltenberg never informed Bush, but told the Norwegian media he’d said that afterwards.”

Subsequent references by Stoltenberg to what the Norwegian Red-Green Coalition said about its plans for Iraq during the election campaign did nothing to quench the Americans’ anger.

According to Aftenposten, officials were furious after reading the Norwegian Embassy’s summary of Stoltenberg’s statements. They more concerned with that he was not being truthful about what he said in public.

“The Americans thought Stoltenberg was being dishonest. I remember this, though not what it was about. Putting it this way, highlighting disagreements with the Americans is neither difficult nor problematic, however. Being dishonest is worse. It isn’t acceptable,” an anonymous Norwegian official states.

Stoltenberg became a persona non grata at the White House.

“He wasn’t telling the truth about the contents of the conversation. This completely destroyed the relationship between them [Bush and Stoltenberg],” says the US source.

The Norwegian Prime Minister received Left-Wing applause at home for what he ‘said’, but the damage was done.

Jan Petersen, the Conservatives’ (H) Foreign Minister up to 2005, told NRK the following year that, “I’m afraid the conversation between Stoltenberg and Bush, which the Americans perceived as being quite different to what was said here in Norway, could have left its mark.”

There were questions as to why Stoltenberg never received an invitation to the Oval Office, especially as his predecessor, Kjell Magne Bondevik, had visited 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue several times.

“We noticed Prime Ministers from the other Nordic Countries came and went, and Bondevik had been there three times, so we understood something was wrong,” says NRK correspondent Jan Espen Kruse.

Jens Stoltenberg has refused to be interviewed by Aftenposten, but confirms in statement issued by his information department that he received a congratulatory call from George W. Bush.

It was a short and pleasant conversation. The media has subsequently asked questions as to whether it was true that I had indicated that Norway would continueits military presence in Iraq. I denied this.”

“I do not wish to go into the particulars of the conversation beyond this. It was also well known that the incoming government wanted to withdraw the Norwegian officers from Iraq, and this was also followed up,” reads the SMS from the Prime Minister’s Office.

According to Aftenposten’s political commentator, Harald Stanghelle, the matter “is about a Norwegian Prime Minister who abused a courtesy call from an American President to appear tougher, and more resolute than there was basis for.”

Prime Minister Stoltenberg and President Obama are due to meet tomorrow.



Published on Wednesday, 19th October, 2011 at 12:37 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 19th October 2011 at 14:22.

This post has the following tags: jensstoltenberg, barackobama, iraqwar.





  
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