Norway-Sweden in secret PLO ransom deal / News / The Foreigner

The Foreigner Norway-Sweden in secret PLO ransom deal. The Swedish Government secretly paid a ransom to free UN workers Norwegian William Jørgensen and Swedish Jan Stening after militant Palestinians kidnapped them in 1988. In his new book NRK reporter and former war journalist Odd Karsten Tveit has also revealed the Norwegian authorities did not know about the ransom. He alleges they believed the hostages’ release was the result of success diplomatic negotiations. “I asked Gro Harlem Brundtland, who was prime minister at the time, and Thorvald Stoltenberg, who was the foreign minister, if they knew that Sweden had paid a ransom. They denied it. I checked this with others and found out that the Norwegian government actually had no clue about the ransom,” Odd Karsten Tveit told NRK yesterday.

plo, palestinian, liberation, organization, odd, karsten, tveidt, william, joergensen, jan, stening, ransom, kidnap, gro, harlem, brundtland, thorvald, stoltenberg, ministry, foreign, affairs, norway



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Norway-Sweden in secret PLO ransom deal

Published on Tuesday, 5th October, 2010 at 09:53 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.
Last Updated on 5th October 2010 at 10:27.

The Swedish Government secretly paid a ransom to free UN workers Norwegian William Jørgensen and Swedish Jan Stening after militant Palestinians kidnapped them in 1988.



Clueless

In his new book NRK reporter and former war journalist Odd Karsten Tveit has also revealed the Norwegian authorities did not know about the ransom. He alleges they believed the hostages’ release was the result of success diplomatic negotiations.

“I asked Gro Harlem Brundtland, who was prime minister at the time, and Thorvald Stoltenberg, who was the foreign minister, if they knew that Sweden had paid a ransom. They denied it. I checked this with others and found out that the Norwegian government actually had no clue about the ransom,” Odd Karsten Tveit told NRK yesterday.

Tvedt’s sources informed him the money came from a secret governmental fund in the Swedish Department of Defense.

Victims

Jørgensen and Stoning worked for the UN helping Palestinians in Lebanon, and became the victims of an internal PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) feud in February 1988.

The two men were beaten, questioned and mentally abused during their several weeks in captivity, according to VG.

Odd Karstein Tveit says the Swedish Government allegedly paid 5 million Swedish kronor (approximately $740,000). Former cabinet secretary at the Swedish Foreign Ministry Pierre Schori has verified this information, according to Swedish radio.

Risky

Rumors of the ransom payment circulated at the time but information was not made public so as not to set a precedent. However, the gesture only served to encourage kidnappings of Swedish and Norwegian citizens.

“It was almost like a go-ahead for new kidnappings; for a time it was believed that Norway and Sweden paid a ransom in such cases. It could have been very dangerous and led to new kidnappings,” Tveit said.

He still has one question unanswered after writing the book.

“[…] why haven’t the Swedes turned to their Norwegian counterparts? People at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD) worked like anything to resolve the kidnapping, in close cooperation with their Swedish counterparts,” he told VG.



Published on Tuesday, 5th October, 2010 at 09:53 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.
Last updated on 5th October 2010 at 10:27.

This post has the following tags: plo, palestinian, liberation, organization, odd, karsten, tveidt, william, joergensen, jan, stening, ransom, kidnap, gro, harlem, brundtland, thorvald, stoltenberg, ministry, foreign, affairs, norway.





  
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