Søreide opens talks on Norwegian role in Korea

Ine Eriksen SøreideWashington D.C., USA 20180111. Utenriksminister Ine Eriksen Søreide and Rex Tillerson.Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

Foreign Minister, Ine Eriksen Søreide of Høyre (H), said Norway has a tradition of saying yes to requests for arbitration in peace talks.


‘If the parties want Norway to have a role in facilitating conversations,then we have a tradition of contribution. But we are not here just because this is a topical issue now,’ Søreide told NTB news after Thursday’s meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington.

The conflict in the Korean Peninsula was among the topics that the two talked about.

‘We were so close to the end of the conversation, but there will be a new opportunity to discuss this on Monday when we meet again in connection with the meeting on North Korea in Vancouver,’ she said.

‘Good conversations’

Søreide concluded that Norway and the United States share the concern associated with North Korea’s long-range missiles.

‘We stand together in finding good political, and diplomatic, solutions to the situation. What has happened in recent days, the conversations between North and South Korea, is positive, but it’s too early to say what it means’, she said.

The Norwegian Foreign Minister had a meeting lasting approximately 45 minutes with Tillerson on Thursday.

‘We had a long, and good conversation, which was about Russia, NATO, Syria and the Middle East,’ said Søreide.


Norway leads the ‘Giverlandsgruppen’ for Palestine, and Søreide had a long series of talks with prominent representatives of the new US administration,during which she underlined the importance of maintaining support.

‘I feel that there is an understanding on the American side of the importance of assistance not only to the Palestinian territories, but also to the surrounding countries, to stabilise the situation.
Especially when the Palestinian Authority assumes responsibility in Gaza, it’s
important to continue the assistance,’ said Søreide. Later on Thursday, she addressed the same matter with President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Special
Advisor Jared Kushner.

Closely allied

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was, as usual, very vocal when the two stood for a speedy photo shoot ahead of the meeting at the Foreign Ministry.

‘Norway has been very supportive in our efforts to combat terrorism and IS, as well as sending the right message to North Korea,’ said Tillerson.

He did not answer questions about what he hopes Norway can contribute when talks about the situation in North Korea begin in Vancouver next week.

After the meeting, Søreide said that there had been no specific requests from the
American side related to this question.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today