Just days before the horrific terrorist attacks that struck Norway on Friday, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere hinted it would support a unilateral Palestinian bid at the UN to be fully recognized as a state this September.
“On Monday [July 18], Norway’s foreign minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, following a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, suggested Oslo may be inclined back the Palestinian bid, saying it was ‘perfectly legitimate’ for the Palestinians to seek a vote on statehood,” reports UN political blog Turtle Bay.
“I disagree with those who say that the Palestinian initiative of the UN is an obstacle to negotiations,” FM Stoere was quoted as saying by Norwegian online newspaper The Foreigner after meeting with Abbas on Monday.
“The fundamental Norwegian view is that a people have the right to use UN institutions to clarify questions about the legitimacy of their status in the world. We are opposed to denying this to the Palestinians”, FM Stoere told national news outlet NRK.
In addition to cautiously pledging support for a Palestinian state, FM Stoere sought to improve conditions in Palestine and “diplomatic relations” between the two countries.
After their meeting, President Abbas told media that the two countries are “standing shoulder-to-shoulder” with each other.
“Norway is going to say yes when they receive the text,” President Abbas told reporters. “I hoped that Norway, when the peace process began, would recognize the Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and that Norway will support our efforts to be acknowledged.”
Norway has historically been an active participant in Middle East peace efforts, including the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians.
The all-too coincidential timing of this political event with Friday’s tragic bombing and shooting by a Christian Zionist has been mostly ignored by mainstream media. An accusatory finger was pointed at “Islamo-Facism” only minutes after the attack happened, with The New York Times noting that Norway “is a member of NATO alliance and has a small fighting contingent in Afghanistan,” and “was one of several countries cited by Ayman al-Zawahri, the Al Qaeda leader, as potential targets for attack.” The Times also cites a 2006 incident were “Norwegian newspapers reprinted Danish cartoons that angered Muslims by lampooning the Prophet Muhammad” as a possible motive for the blast.
Norway is not the only Scandinavian country ready to back Palestinian statehood at the UN this September. Iceland has also vowed to back the bid after FM Skarpheidinsson visited Gaza last week.