Norway drops EU's terror list

[TamilNet, Thursday, 05 January 2006, 10:42 GMT]
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday said Norway's continued alignment with the EU list of banned individuals and organisations could cause difficulties for Norway in its role as "neutral facilitator in certain peace processes" stating that Norway will no longer align itself with any other list than that published by the UN. The statement further said that Norway wanted to intensify its involvement in various peace processes, with the recognition of the international community including the EU and the US, but wanted to avoid a situation that makes it difficult for Norway to have contact with any of the parties to a conflict.

Full text of the press release issued by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday follows:

Norway’s cooperation with the EU on the fight against terrorism

Norway’s close cooperation with the EU on foreign and security policy includes cooperation on the fight on terrorism.

Norway has previously aligned itself with the EU’s list of persons, organisations and entities set out in the Common Position on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism. This list is revised by the EU at regular intervals. Following an overall assessment, the government has decided that Norway will no longer align itself with any other list than that published by the UN.

The reason for this decision is that a continued alignment with the EU list could cause difficulties for Norway in its role as neutral facilitator in certain peace processes. Norway’s role could become difficult if one of the parties involved was included on the EU list, and the opportunities for contact were thus restricted.

The EU list is based on the Common Position that was adopted for the first time in December 2001 in connection with implementing UN Security Council resolution 1373, which specifically calls for measures to combat the financing of terrorism. The Common Position has since been revised several times, and new persons and groups have been added to the list. As Norway is not a member of the EU, it does not take part in the internal assessments that lead to revisions of the EU list. The most recent revision was made on 21 December 2005.

- Norway is making an important contribution to international peace and security through its involvement in peace processes. These efforts have won the recognition of the international community, including the EU and the US, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Střre pointed out.

- The government wants to intensify these efforts and we must therefore avoid a situation that makes it more difficult for us to have contact with any of the parties to a conflict.

- The international legal obligations that form the basis for Norway’s efforts to combat international terrorism will remain the same. There should be no doubt that Norway clearly condemns all forms of terrorism. The decision does not imply any other change in our cooperation with the EU on measures against terrorism. There is a high degree of agreement and solidarity between Norway and the EU countries. We are engaged in the fight against international terrorism together with the EU, underlined Mr Střre.

 

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