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Out on wild roads

The new Foreign Ministry (Foreign Ministry) under Jonas Gahr Støre and Erik Solheim's leadership receives a lot of praise in the Norwegian press. That is the limited reason.

It shows, among other things, the Foreign Service's top management conference 2006, which in Oslo Concert Hall on Tuesday organized "Meeting on how to counter conflict when cultures meet".

Most of Norway's ambassadors, research organizations and the media were invited to the lectures and debate. But both the issue, the participant selection and the debate premise testify that the Foreign Ministry is now characterized by a populist and conflict-creating worldview.

And this is serious, given the active role the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs acquires in the world's conflicts: Norway was supposed to create peace in Sri Lanka, but the result of the prestige project – after strongly criticized support for the terrorist organization Tamil Tigers (LTTE) – was that the island is now in civil war with hundreds dead and tens of thousands fleeing. Norway, for decades "Israel's best friend", was to create peace in the Middle East. But the result of the Israel-favored Oslo Accords, called "apartheid" by Professor Edward Said, was a stone-dead peace process.

Nevertheless, missionary work for "Norwegian values" continues as the answer to the world's problems. On Tuesday, Solheim returned from one week in the new focus area. . .

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Dag Herbjørnsrud
Former editor of MODERN TIMES. Now head of the Center for Global and Comparative History of Ideas.

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