African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Norway willing to talk with Osama bin Laden – Very interesting move

Posted by African Press International on August 28, 2008

The tiny Scandinavian country Norway likes to be in the fore-front, to be noticed internationally. This time they have chosen to come up with the proposal to have talks with Osama Bin Laden. Not that this is wrong to do. The wrong thing is the fact that Norway likes to jump the line before other nations do. They like to be noted and credited for having had the idea. The country is even ready to use development aid – money from the oil in buying friends who will in turn listen to them, if not, they do not get the oil money that Norway loves to dish out for the sake of being noticed. Now they have come up with this idea because they believe that if Senator Obama becomes the US president, he may want to talk to Iran and Osama Bin Laden. So they want to mention it before OBAMA so that the international community may ask them – Norwegians to lead the talks. Norwegian leaders – some of them – are very strange in the way they think and do things. You have to live in Norway to understand their way of thinking and the way they calculatively do things. (API)

Norway has joined Switzerland in opening up for talks with terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. That doesn’t mean Norway is going soft on the fight against terrorism, though, said the country’s deputy foreign minister.

Raymond Johansen is willing to sit down with Osama bin Laden.

PHOTO: STIAN LYSBERG SOLUM / SCANPIX

“You dont make peace with your friends, but with your enemies,” said Raymond Johansen, state secretary in Norways Foreign Ministry and deputy foreign minister, on Wednesday.

Johansen told the website for newspaper Dagsavisen Wednesday afternoon that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has also called for reconciliation among the various groups in Afghanistan. That would include Osama bin Laden’s followers.

“We support that,” Johansen said. “Engagement and dialogue have a lot going for them.” He also stressed that “negotiations are not the same as weakness.”

Johansen’s remarks come in the wake of a visit by Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey to Iran, and her call for dialogue with Osama bin Laden. She’s the first foreign minister of a democratic country who has promoted dialogue with bin Laden, saying Switzerland has no other alternatives.

“We have no military forces, we dont have anything other than the power of the word to influence other states or to influence decisions in a multilateral setting,” she said Tuesday.

Johansen, who also was the first high-ranking Western official to meet with Hamas leaders last year, didnt reject her call. He noted, though, that he has no illusions that bin Laden would sit down for negotiations.

“I don’t think Osama bin Laden or the forces around al-Qaida want dialogue,” Johansen said. “They prefer rather to take the lives of infidels.”

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API/Source.aftenposteneng

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