Wednesday, May 18

Critical of the fact that the Storting was not informed about Taliban talks in advance

The Foreign Minister did not inform the Storting in the enlarged Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee prior to the meetings with the Taliban. The Conservatives and the Greens are critical of the fact that this did not happen.

Conservative Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide.

The case will be updated

Not everyone likes that Norway has invited representatives of the Taliban to Norway. Some respond that Norway has paid for the plane that transports them here. Others respond that they are invited at all.

Former Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide (H) supports the dialogue with the Taliban. But she is critical of the fact that the Storting was not told about what was going to happen.

– Considering the structure of the meetings, it would be wise for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to provide the Storting with information in advance of the meetings and the assessments on which the government’s decision is based, she says.

Søreide now heads the Storting’s foreign affairs committee and is the Conservative Party’s foreign policy spokesperson. She informs Aftenposten that she, as chair of the committee, received a short notice that the meetings were to be held.

– But no information was given about delegation or other arrangements, she says.

She emphasizes that it is the government that is responsible for providing information to the Storting’s bodies, and therefore believes it would be wise to inform the committee.

Taliban spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi posted this photo on Twitter on Saturday afternoon showing Taliban representatives on their way to Norway in a private plane rented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Søreide now heads the Storting’s foreign affairs committee and is the Conservative Party’s foreign policy spokesperson. She informs Aftenposten that she, as chair of the committee, received a short notice that the meetings were to be held.

– But no information was given about delegation or other arrangements, she says.

She emphasizes that it is the government that is responsible for providing information to the Storting’s bodies, and therefore believes it would be wise to inform the committee.

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FRP is also critical

The FRP’s foreign policy spokesperson, Christian Tybring-Gjedde, is also critical of the fact that the committee was not informed prior to the visit.

– That is why we have the committee, he says.

The Conservative Party believes that Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt should have informed the Storting’s expanded Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

The Extended Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (DUUFK) consists of the ordinary members of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the President of the Storting and all the parliamentary leaders in the Storting. The committee discusses important issues concerning foreign policy, security policy and, among other things, terrorist preparedness. The government always informs this committee before important decisions are made. The proceedings in the committee are secret, unless otherwise decided.

Broad support for the talks

A broad political majority in the Storting supports the talks. So far, only the FRP has been critical of them.

– The symbolism is very destructive. It is a recognition of the Taliban. Everyone will understand it as a recognition of the Taliban, except Anniken Huitfeldt, says FRP’s foreign policy spokesman, Christian Tybring-Gjedde to Aftenposten.

He believes Norway has largely failed in all peace talks we have participated in. And he believes the Taliban knew what they were doing when they “humiliated Norway and NATO” threw out “weapons, money and civilization.” Therefore, he believes it is the Taliban’s own responsibility to take care of their own.

The FRP was in government when in 2015 there were secret talks between the Taliban and representatives of the Afghan government on Norwegian soil.

– It happened under completely different conditions. Then there was a civilized government in Afghanistan, he says. The FRP politician believes that the meetings then can therefore not be compared with what is happening now.

Søreide believes the talks are necessary

Søreide emphasizes, however, that it is absolutely necessary for the international community to have talks with the Taliban. In a press release, she refers to the growing famine in Afghanistan, where around more than half of the population is in urgent need of emergency aid.

– It is the Taliban that controls which organizations are allowed to come in with help to the civilian population, where they are allowed to operate and under what conditions, she points out.

– Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for the international community to have talks with the Taliban, she writes.

– The Conservatives perceive that it is the USA and the EU that are at the forefront of the talks that are now taking place in Norway, and that the purpose is to put pressure on the Taliban, make demands and make them responsible, including related to human rights and girls’ schooling, she writes.

Reference-www.aftenposten.no

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