Majority want soldiers home from Iraq
A total of 51.2 percent of the people participating in the poll claimed that Norway should pull the Norwegian soldiers out of Iraq. 32.7 percent claimed the soldiers should remain, while 16.1 percent are not sure, according to a pull conducted by Visendi on behalf of the Norwegian news bureau (NTB).
«The result of this public opinion poll is not surprising, and it is completely normal that many are sceptical to sending Norwegian soldiers off on dangerous missions, and the result is about the same as previously,» said Bård Glad Pedersen, Conservative parliamentary secretary with the Ministry of Defense.
Pedersen stressed that Norway has forces in Iraq due to UNs request as it is necessary to arrange for the rebuilding of country and to instate an independent Iraqi government.
«We can of course not model Norwegian foreign police based on polls, but this is a clear signal to the government that they should seriously consider to pull out the forces,» said Åslaug Haga, the Agricultural partys leader.
Haga said that the government has indicated that they before the summer will conduct an evaluation of the Norwegians soldiers presence in Iraq, and Haga claims the time is right to do conduct that evaluation now.
Divided by gender
While almost 60 percent of the women claim that the Norwegian solders should be sent home, men are more split down the middle regarding this issue as 45.2 percent claim they should remain, while 44.9 percent claim they should return home.
Remain until the summer
Pedersen stated that the Norwegian soldiers in Iraq will remain in the country until the summer as the original plan was. If the deployment is to be prolonged or concluded is a decision the government has to make.
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