Norway put in Libyan bombing dilemma / News / The Foreigner

Norway put in Libyan bombing dilemma. Statements by world leaders advocating bombing Gaddafi out of power have put Norway in a quandary. In a joint comment published by The Times today, David Cameron, Barack Obama, and Nicolas Sarkozy argue leaving the Libyan leader to continue targeting his own people would be an “unconscionable betrayal”. “So long as Gaddafi is in power, NATO and its coalition partners must maintain their operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds....For [a genuine transition from dictatorship to an inclusive constitutional process] to succeed, Colonel Gaddafi must go, and go for good,” they write.

operationodysseydawn, presidentbarackobama, davidcameron, nicolassarkozy, muammaral-gaddafi, libyanwar, williamhague, alainjuppe



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Norway put in Libyan bombing dilemma

Published on Friday, 15th April, 2011 at 18:06 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 15th April 2011 at 20:13.

Statements by world leaders advocating bombing Gaddafi out of power have put Norway in a quandary.

F-16 taking off from Souda Bay
F-16 taking off from Souda Bay
Photo: Forsvarets mediesenter/Lars Magne Hovtun


Complex

In a joint comment published by The Times today, David Cameron, Barack Obama, and Nicolas Sarkozy argue leaving the Libyan leader to continue targeting his own people would be an “unconscionable betrayal”.

“So long as Gaddafi is in power, NATO and its coalition partners must maintain their operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds....For [a genuine transition from dictatorship to an inclusive constitutional process] to succeed, Colonel Gaddafi must go, and go for good,” they write.

Norway, with its six F-16 fighter jets, has officially been part of Operation “Odyssey Dawn” since 23rd March, and conducted several sorties, some of them armed.

The tripartite coalition government has always maintained having sovereignty over its personnel is key for its participating in the campaign, but today’s statements by the three world leaders have made matters more complicated.

“We agree Gaddafi should step aside, but also think it is important not to stretch [the interpretation of] UNSCR 1973. If this is done, I am afraid it will be more difficult to achieve a resolution next time around,” Svein Roald Hansen MP, Labour’s (Ap) Vice-Chairman on the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs, tells The Foreigner.

Surprised

Helge Lurås, advisor at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) has previously said the Allies have wanted “to get rid of Gaddafi, de facto”, but views what the three leaders say as unexpected.

“I am a bit surprised it came at this point in time, as well as that it was also authored by Barack Obama. It commits US prestige to succeeding in removing Gaddafi, which will not be easy.”

The commentary also partly removes the pivot point on which Norway is trying to balance across, according to Kristian Berg Harpviken, Director of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO).

“Norway has had reservations about the operation, but at the same time has tried to position itself as entirely loyal to the military coalition. President Obama has now made this trickier because it brings to light inherent contradictions between the UN’s mandate, and how the operation is pursued,” he says.

Whilst the Centre Party (Sp) is currently following governmental policy, traditionally anti-NATO the Socialist Left Party (SV) has expressed its support for the time being.

Serious consequences

However, SV’s newly elected international leader, Petter Eide, is calling for a new debate about Norway’s role, Aftenposten reports.

“We had to send planes to protect the civilian population of Benghazi, but we are now in a new situation. We have a no-fly zone that is no longer effective and are getting new signals for expanded warfare,” he says, referring to Monday’s calls for increased military means by British Conservative Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt. Hon. William Hague, and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé.

He continues, saying, “It can seem like France and the UK wish to move towards a war on the ground, whilst Norway’s mandate was originally a humanitarian one. I do not believe Norway, or at least SV, agreed to this.”

Kristian Berg Harpviken forecasts the situation could cause Norwegian politicians severe problems.

“This commits Norway to a policy that has the potential to tear its Coalition government apart,” he tells The Foreigner.




Published on Friday, 15th April, 2011 at 18:06 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 15th April 2011 at 20:13.

This post has the following tags: operationodysseydawn, presidentbarackobama, davidcameron, nicolassarkozy, muammaral-gaddafi, libyanwar, williamhague, alainjuppe.





  
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