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Foto: Berit Almendingen

PM upset by treatment of prisoners

The Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik said he is upset by the pictures of soldiers who abuse Iraqi prisoners, and he promises that he will discuss the issue with the US.

During Stortinget’s question hour Wednesday, Kristin Halvorsen, head of the Socialist Left party, asked Bondevik what kind of reaction the government will give the US after pictures of Iraqi prisoners being abused by American soldiers were released earlier this week.

Bondevik rejected that he was pleased with the way the Americans handled the issue.

«I have not said that I’m pleased with the way things have been done, or with the American reaction,» Bondevik said. «Rather the opposite, I’m upset by the treatment of prisoners, regardless if it happens in Iraq or elsewhere.»

«There is no doubt of the government’s view of this,» Bondevik stated. «We greatly oppose abuse and torture of prisoners which breach international conventions.»

Bondevik promised that the government would address the issue with American authorities.

Norwegian soldiers
Bondevik also said that the government still considers prolonging the Norwegian presence in Iraq when the squadron of engineer soldiers returns home July 1.

«The engineer squadron will be pulled out this summer,» Bondevik stated. «The question regarding other limited contribution will be discussed in Stortinget.»

Norway has ten staff officers in Iraq in addition to the engineer company. The officers are placed at the headquarters of the forces under British command in southern Iraq and the forces under Polish command in northern part of the country.

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