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Archive for Norway

Newsline: Ghana to open an embassy in Norway

Ghana will soon open an embassy in Norway to boost bilateral relations between the two countries. This was revealed by Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, during an interview with Class 91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show host Moro Awudu in New York following a meeting between President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Norway Premier Erna Solberg – both co-Chairs of the Advocacy Group of Eminent Persons for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ms Botchway said Norway already has an embassy in Ghana and noted that the West African country will also put up one in Oslo, the Norwegian capital.



Newsline: Russian Embassy in Norway Denies Training Neo-Nazi Groups

Russia’s Embassy in Oslo has denied allegations that it provided financial help for neo-Nazi groups in Norway to receive training. A Norwegian television program claimed that members of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (DNM) had received military training in Russia. Early last year, the DNM was linked to a series of bomb attacks outside asylum reception centers across Norway. Russia’s Embassy called the allegations “not just stupid, but blasphemous” in a statement published on its Facebook page. “It is not our country’s fault that the ultra-radical movement in Europe strengthens while traditional parties lose their influence,” it said.


Newsline: Pakistan Embassy in Norway left behind thousands of passports

After years of reported quarrels with its landlord, the Embassy of Pakistan in Norway has moved out of the stately old home it leased in Oslo’s fashionable Frogner district for the past 25 years. The embassy reportedly left behind thousands of passports, visa applications and other documents along with trash and alleged damage to the house, and is now accused of misusing its diplomatic immunity. Pakistan’s ambassador flatly denies the claims. Years of quarreling over rental rates and maintenance, however, ultimately landed in court, where the embassy was ordered to pay nearly NOK 300,000 in unpaid rental charges. Caught in the middle is Norway’s foreign ministry, which doesn’t want to get involved in the dispute between landlord and tenant. Ministry spokesperson Guri Solberg told Aftenposten that state- and diplomatic immunity “limits Norwegian authorities’ ability to enforce demands made of foreign diplomatic representation in Norway.” She said the ministry can only “have meetings with embassies and remind them of their duty to follow their own diplomatic obligations,” including Article 41 of the Vienna Convention that foreign embassies and diplomatics are obligated to follow local laws (including court verdicts) even though they enjoy immunity.


Newsline: Norway’s former ambassador to Indonesia could face charges

Norway’s former ambassador to Indonesia was stripped of his title late last year and recalled to Oslo, after he was found to have been involved in supplying foreign aid funds to one of three mistresses he had in Jakarta. He still works as a diplomat for the foreign ministry in a high position, newspaper VG reported this week, but could face criminal charges if the ministry had reported his activity to police. VG reported that Traavik entered into a “secret relationship” in the fall of 2013 with an Indonesian woman who already had received around NOK 1.5 million (USD 179,000) in Norwegian funding for various cultural projects through the embassy in Jakarta. She had applied in April 2013 for more Norwegian funding and her organization received NOK 550,000, through documents VG recovered from the ministry’s archive that were signed by Traavik in May 2013. The former Norwegian ambassador’s activity in Jakarta raises new questions about how Norway manages its billions of kroner set aside for foreign aid aimed at fighting poverty and spurring economic development.


Newsline: Theft at Norway embassy in New Delhi suspected to be inside job

Several teams of the Chanakyapuri police station have been working round-the-clock to nab a thief who allegedly made off with several items of jewellery from the room of an employee of the Royal Norwegian Embassy. Prima facie, police suspect it to be an inside job as there was no sign of forced entry. Confirming the incident, Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) B K Singh told The Indian Express that a case has been registered under Section 380 (theft) of the IPC at Chanakyapuri police station. The DCP also said that police are coordinating with senior officials of the embassy to probe the role of an insider. Police said the incident took place on April 24. The complainant left home after putting her jewellery in a small bag inside the top drawer of her cupboard. “She locked her room and left for work. She returned home by 4.45 pm. In the evening, she was getting dressed to go out again when she suddenly noticed that some of her jewellery was missing,” police sources said. “Police are questioning ground employees, drivers, security guards and others living in the area,” a police officer said.

New Delhi: At Norway embassy, thief makes off with staffer’s jewellery

Newsline: Russian Embassy in Contact With Norway Over Arrest of Alleged Citizen

The Russian Embassy in Oslo said Monday it is in contact with the Norwegian authorities over the detention of an alleged Russian citizen in connection with a suspected explosive device found in the capital of Norway, adding that it is awaiting confirmation of the detainee’s citizenship. “The embassy is in close contact with the Norwegian competent authorities. We continue to seek clarification of all circumstances of the case,” the Russian embassy said on Facebook. Norwegian police found a suspected explosive device in central Oslo late Saturday and detained one person in relation to the case, claimed to be a Russian citizen. The police carried out a controlled explosion of a device, but were not sure whether the box contained any explosives. “The Norwegian authorities did not submit documents at the meeting confirming the Russian citizenship of the detainee. They promised to do so in the near future,” the Russian embassy stated. The diplomatic mission said its data indicated that the arrested 17-year-old is indeed a Russian citizen residing in Norway with his parents.


Newsline: Former US embassy guard jailed in Norway tax case

The first of 18 tax evasion cases filed against local Norwegian employees of the US Embassy in Oslo has resulted in a 36-day jail term. A former security guard at the embassy was sentenced for failing to make sure that the embassy withheld taxes on his behalf or that he paid what he owed himself. The US Embassy, like other embassies in Oslo, refuses to report local employees’ earnings or withhold taxes they owe, in line with other diplomatic privileges like avoiding taxes, not least employer taxes. The 34-year-old guard worked for the US Embassy from 2008 to 2012. Newspaper Aftenposten reported that during his job interview, he was told that the Americans never report or withhold local employees’ earnings to the tax authorities as a matter of principle. The 34-year-old was acquitted of tax evasion for the years 2008 and 2009 but convicted for the years from 2010. The judge in the case wrote that the defendant then presumed his earnings were taxable but “stuck his head in the sand.” That amounted to pre-meditated tax evasion, the judge determined. The former guard owed NOK 340,000 (around USD 56,000) but was only convicted for the NOK 180,000 he “forgot” to declare after the embassy tax case hit the news in late 2010.