Saudi Arabia’s ambassador hits back at Støre

Labor leader Jonas Gahr StøreLabor leader Jonas Gahr Støre.Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Norway is upset over statements Labor leader Jonas Gahr Støre has made.

In Saturday’s edition of newspaper Dagens Næringsliv the Minister said that he will not draw a direct line between religious practice in Saudi Arabia and terrorism, but that “in this region the extremist movement in Islam are used to actively legitimize an authoritarian and violent government.” It got ambassador Esam A. Abid Althagaf to react.

– We are sorry that Støre uses Saudi Arabia’s name just to increase the votes of his own party. Of course it is not acceptable for our country, says Althaga. He also emphasizes that Støre is a friend of Saudi Arabia and that the country does not have anything against the Labor leader.

Støre said that he did not want to hang out Saudi Arabia as an example of the one who is worst at it, but that he pulled out an example from his time as Foreign Minister when he said no to a request from Saudi Arabia to finance mosque construction.

– I have referred to an episode with Saudi Arabia from my time as Foreign Minister. Beyond that, my comment not related to one particular country, nor Saudi Arabia, says Støre.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today