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November 8, 2013 12:46 pm

Norway Coalition Government Weighs Ending Arms Ban to Israel to Increase Exports

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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The flag of Norway. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Norway’s new coalition government is weighing a decision to lift a 2002 ban on selling arms to Israel, Israel’s Globes business daily reported on Friday, citing an interview with Norwegian MP Jorund Rytmanin in Defense News.

The ban was supported by the previous Socialist regime of Jens Stoltenberg that governed from 2005 until last month.

The new government was formed by a coalition of the Conservative (Hoyre) Party and junior partner the Progress Party, which leads The Friends of Israel organization in the Norwegian parliament. Its party leader, Siv Jensen, was named Finance Minister.

Progressive Party MP Rytman told Defense News that the turnaround is part of a broader strategy of supporting Norway’s defense industry by encouraging exports.

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Rytman said, “I don’t see any basic difference between exporting to the U.S. and exporting to Israel. The subject will come up on the government’s agenda in the next few months. The first obstacle that we must confront is to amend the law for supervising weapons exports, which prohibits the sale of military equipment to Israel.”

Norway’s Foreign Minister Borge Brende, however, has said that his government is in no rush to take decisions on sensitive issues such as the embargo on arms sales to Israel.

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