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"Send Iraq soldiers home"

Leader of socialist left-wing party SV, Kristin Halvorsen, thinks Norwegian soldiers should be sent home from Iraq if the UN's role in the rebuilding of the country is not clarified.

"Russia, Germany, France, Japan or India will not contribute. They think the UN mandate is not binding enough. Due to this it is a point to SV to ask when the UN's line is important to Norway as well", Halvorsen told NRK.

The SV leader fears that the 150 Norwegian soldiers will be perceived as members of the occupation and does not think Iraqis can tell the difference between Norwegian and British soldiers, the way the Norwegian Minister of defence claims they can.

"We know that Norwegian soldiers have been subject to attacks. It is important to do everything we can to make sure our forces are safe", Halvorsen said.

Minister of Defence Kristin Krohn Devold told NRK on Saturday that Iraqis are able to point out Norwegian soldiers because they do humanitarian work and contribute to the rebuilding of the country, though she added that she could not guarantee safety for the Norwegian soldiers.


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