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Ask SV to count his victories

The Foreign Minister is urging government colleagues in the SV to count their victories now, not the defeats.


[Afghanistan] – SV has a lot to refer to, and they are part of the red-green vision for foreign policy, said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre to Ny Tid on Wednesday.

Government colleagues in the SV struggle hard to defend the defeat in Afghanistan over their own party.

- SV must count its victories, advises Støre, who earlier this week fronted the government's recognition of the new Palestinian unity government.

- Does this especially apply to Palestine?

- Yes, this applies to Palestine, among other things, and not least the closer connection between foreign and development policy. I fully support politics and I can say clearly that it bears all the parties' core characteristics. And there are many examples of important issues for SV being followed up, such as that we are now at the forefront of humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan, and our leading role in the fight for an international ban on cluster munitions, to name a few, says Støre.

Electoral researcher Frank Aarebrot at the University of Bergen believes that the SV would have seemed more successful as a government partner if the party members had been less overtly critical of the party leadership.

- Lysbakken and co are happy to stand out. You have a party that shouts to the leadership: Here is a camel. Eat it! Then voters notice them. The Center Party, in contrast to SV, shuts up when they do not get a foothold in the government. Therefore, one gets the impression that they get more impact for their policies, the election researcher believes.

Lysbakken does not recognize the criticism.

- I do not perceive that this is correct, he says

Aarebrot believes the SV is asking for more future camels to swallow, when they have now learned that the Norwegian soldiers will not be sent outside Kabul.

- This is a fertile camel, which will breed many small camels. Every time an American general asks the forces to do something, SV must swallow a new camel. This is not great statesman knowledge, he says.

Aarebrot believes that instead, when they had to agree to send Norwegian forces to Afghanistan, the SV should not have to push through restrictions in order to avoid going on new defeats later. Audun Lysbakken, deputy leader of the SV, believes the party could not have finished the case, by agreeing that the forces could initially be sent elsewhere than Kabul.

- This case is not finished. If you are in government, you must seek the influence you can get, he believes.

NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has stated to NTB that Norwegian forces can be relocated in a crisis situation. Lysbakken is sure that the forces will not be sent outside Kabul.

- The government has said that these soldiers should not be sent south. It is irrelevant that the forces participate in operations outside Kabul, he says.

History professor and SV leader Berge Furre believes that the Afghanistan problem goes beyond the party's soul.

- As a historian, I can say that there will be a long war in Afghanistan, says.

- Jonas Gahr Støre says that SV must count their victories. What do you think about that?

- The dilemma is that a lot of positive things are happening with foreign policy due to SV's participation in the government, as Gahr Støre suggests. But more military forces to Afghanistan are attacking the party's soul. SV does not tolerate more overtaking like this, says Furre.

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