The inconsistencies are mind boggling. Lifted from Aftenposten.no:
Jan Egeland: Norway open to illegal arms exports
Jan Egeland the Director of Human Rights Watch believes that Norway violates its own rules by allowing arms sales to the United Arab Emirates.
NTB Published: 09.jun. 2012 (5:19 p.m.) Updated: 09.jun. 2012 (17:19)
Egeland was very surprised when he got to know that Norway has approved the UAE and neighboring Qatar as buyers of Norwegian-produced weapons.- Weapons sales to UAE must be a clear violation of the Norwegian export rules, Egeland said in the book ” The Peace Nation’s endless arms trade” which was this week. Egeland served as State Secretary at the Foreign Ministry from 1990-1997 and has since worked as Deputy Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations, director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Secretary General of the Norwegian Red Cross.-
Up a creek without an ore
The former Labor politician believes that Parliament was not paying attention when Norway approved the exports of weapons to the Emirates, a country which scores very low in terms of democracy and human rights.
According to the authors Tove and Øystein Lie Mikalsen Egeland accuses both the Parliament and the wider public opinion of reckless inaction.- It is completely mad that Norway agrees to sell weapons to an authoritarian regime on the Arabian Peninsula, which recently sent its army to intervene and help quell a popular uprising in neighboring Bahrain, where “Arab Spring” protesters were brutally repressed, says Egeland. He added that Norway “has probably gone further than I can remember that we have in the past.”
State Secretary Gry Larsen (Labour) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the UAE and Qatar have been recognized as recipients of Norwegian arms after a comprehensive and thorough assessment. The rules for arms exports clearly states that Norway will not sell weapons to areas of war or when war is imminent, and that human and democratic rights in the importing country must be given considerable weight. The Foreign Ministry has declined to state which political considerations that have been made regarding the democracy and human rights situations in the two countries, arguing that it is confidential and classified information.
- It is pretty striking that the Red-Green Government, which claims to promote transparency and encourage informed debate regarding the Norwegian arms exports, the authors Lie and Mikalsen write.
Queries about arms trade fair
The book, also reveals that Norway participated in an arms fair in the United Arab Emirates in February last year, in the middle of the Arab Spring uprising. The Ministry of Defence participated along with representatives from the Norwegian arms industry at the fair which took place only nine days after Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak had been forced step down from power. According to Member of Parliament and former Christian Democratic Party leader Dagfinn Høybråten, queried the participation at the fair in a written question to the Minister of Defence, Espen Barth Eide (Labour), who, according to Klassekampen, replied that the participation did not represent a problem .
- Høybråten said in a comment that he thinks it is very important to closely monitor unstable, authoritarian regimes when it comes to arms exports.
In a follow up article, Egeland now demands that the export license to the Emirates should be withdrawn and slams Norwegian journalists for not doing their jobs
If Norwegian journalists had shown only half the interest in the arms trade, the war against terror and international human rights problems , as they show for the guest lists for May 17th lunches and celebrity birthdays, then many more of the really big and important problems of our time would have been on the agenda.
It would also be useful to remember that the Labour Youth movement continues to press for a boycott of Israel, whereas they have not as much as protested the atrocities that go on in the rest of the Middle East, let alone the rest of the world. Just like the other usual suspects who do not hesitate to torch Oslo in order to show their “disagreement” with Israel.
Spineless little chicken!