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Archive for June 23rd, 2013

Norway welcomes President Obama’s new nuclear disarmament initiative

Posted by African Press International on June 23, 2013

“I am pleased that the US is now seeking further cuts in deployed strategic nuclear weapons,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

In a speech in Berlin on Wednesday, President Barack Obama announced that the US would negotiate with Russia with a view to reducing US strategic nuclear weapons by up to a third. The new initiative was launched shortly after President Obama’s talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.

The initiative is consistent with President Obama’s vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, which he launched in a speech in Prague in 2009, and will build on the progress already achieved with the New START Treaty in 2010.

President Obama also said that he would seek mutual bold reductions in tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. This is a category of nuclear weapons that is currently not covered by any disarmament agreement.

“We welcome the fact that President Obama intends to work with NATO allies to cut the number of short-range nuclear weapons in Europe. Together with Poland and other allies, Norway has put this topic on the Alliance’s agenda, and we are ready to work together with the US on this issue,” Mr Eide said.

 

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Norway condemns attack on UN in Somalia

Posted by African Press International on June 23, 2013

Norway strongly condemns the attack on the UN compound in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. “This was a cowardly attack against UN organisations that are providing support and assistance to a very hard-hit population,” said Minister of International Development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås.

The UN Common Compound in Mogadishu was hit by a terrorist attack on June 19 2013. Several people were killed in the attack.

“Acts of this kind are completely unacceptable. The attack on the UN is an attack on the entire international community. It violates basic principles of humanity and humanitarian work,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide

Somalia has just emerged from one of the most severe famines the world has seen in recent years, and the disaster continues to affect the everyday lives of over a million Somalis. Last year Somalia established a new Government, which has started to turn the trend of persistent negative development into progress. For the first time in decades there is a sense of cautious optimism in Somalia.

Norway has provided extensive humanitarian assistance to Somalia in recent years. The efforts of the UN are of crucial importance to Somalia’s future, and the UN is a vital channel for Norwegian aid to the country. Norway will continue to support the Government in Mogadishu and to promote peaceful development in Somalia that remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for local and international aid workers to work.

“Our thoughts are with those affected by the terrorist attack and their families. The attack targeted people who carry out crucially important work every day to help the people in one of the world’s poorest and most conflict-ridden countries,” Mr Holmås said.

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