>


Norway
News of Norway-Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Supports Action in Afghanistan
October 7, 2001

"The Norwegian Government fully supports the military operations lead by the United States against the network of terror in Afghanistan. It is quite clear that Afghanistan harbors a network of terrorist activity. The use of military power is therefore necessary", Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg says in a statement on Sunday October 7.

"The United States is exercising its obvious right to self-defense, as mandated by the UN Treaty. It is quite clear that Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network are responsible for the horrendous attacks on the United States on September 11. A broad international coalition from all continents of the world rallies behind the measures that are now being taken".

"International terrorism is a threat to people all over the world. This is a struggle against terrorism, its supporters and its organizers. It is not an attack on Arab countries or Islam", Stoltenberg says.

Norway supports the military actions led by the United States along with other NATO allies. Norwegian troops are not involved in the operations that are currently taking place in Afghanistan. However, NATO decided Monday to send five surveillance planes to the US to monitor American airspace. The jets will be part of NATO's contribution to the US-led war on terrorism. The planes, normally based in Geilenkirchen, Germany, will be partly manned by Norwegians and will replace US aircraft that the Americans want to use in connection with other operations.

The Prime Minister refers to the fact that the operations are directed against military installations and communication equipment. The United States is concerned about the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, and has already started to drop humanitarian and medical supplies from the air.

Like the United States and a number of other countries, Norway has increased its humanitarian contributions in order to avoid suffering among refugees in neighboring countries and internally displaced persons in Afghanistan. On Friday October 5, the Norwegian Government offered NOK 200 million (22,5 million dollars) for medical supplies and clothes, in addition to the NOK 100 million already committed.

Also Norway's Foreign Minister, Thorbjørn Jagland, commented on the situation on Sunday, October 7:
"The strike against Afghanistan was expected and necessary, Foreign Minister Thorbjørn Jagland told the news agency NTB. He underlined that Norway supports the attacks, and says that they are solidly founded in both international law and in decisions by the UN Security Council. Mr. Jagland therefore has no doubt that the attacks enjoy a broad international support. He refers to the fact that President George W. Bush over the past weeks has built up a broad coalition against terrorism".

Norway, together with other NATO member countries, decided on October 4 to comply with the U.S. request for assistance in its defense against terrorist attacks. Norway’s assistance will initially be to permit American and allied planes to use the country’s air space, airports, harbors, use of NATO’s airborne surveillance (AWACS), and a possible move of Norwegian marine forces to the Mediterranean.

Norwegian military personnel can therefore be involved in operations through Norway's participation in NATO's standing force, which involves the frigate KNM Narvik in Standing Naval Force Atlantic and the minesweeper KNM Hinnøy in Mine Counter Measures Force North. The Narvik has 112 crew on board, while the Hinnøy has 35.

END