Norway party slams NATO navy exercise with Israel

A junior party in Norway's Labour-led government on Tuesday blasted plans for Israel to take part in NATO navy exercises in Norwegian waters later this month.

Norway party slams NATO navy exercise with Israel
Including Israel in submarine exercises amounted to "whitewashing an occupying power," the Socialist Left (SV) party defence spokesman Bjoern Jacobsen said.

"This takes Israeli soldiers into the NATO war machinery, it launders an occupant," Jacobsen told Reuters, saying Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian land.

"The most important thing is to have a debate about this -- is this the future of NATO? I don't like the idea of Israeli soldiers on Norwegian territories or its consequences."

Russia and several NATO countries are also expected to participate in submarine rescue exercises "Bold Monarch" from May 26 to June 6, Norway's defence forces said.

The SV usually has only limited influence on Norwegian foreign and defence policy, but its opposition to sending more troops to Afghanistan as part of NATO forces there pushed the centre-left cabinet to the brink of collapse in 2007.

The defence ministry was not immediately available for comment. SV was founded on opposition to NATO. It has in the past urged boycotts of Israeli products.

Last Mod: 06 Mayıs 2008, 17:30
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