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Cablegate: Norway Hesitates On Providing Additional Security

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNY #0675 3521357
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 171357Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY OSLO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7225

UNCLAS OSLO 000675

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

PLEASE PASS TO EUR/RPM AARON COPE AND SCA/A NISHA SINGH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM NATO PREL MOPS MARR AF NO
SUBJECT: NORWAY HESITATES ON PROVIDING ADDITIONAL SECURITY
FOR AFGHAN ELECTIONS, BUT COULD BE CONVINCED

REF: STATE 131480

1. (SBU) The underdirector of the MFA Pakistan/Afghanistan
section of the Norwegian MFA, and the special advisor on
Afghanistan in the Ministry of Defense, were unwilling to
commit at this stage to additional Norwegian military
elements to provide security for the upcoming Afghan
elections. Post believes that the Norwegians understand the
importance of the elections and might be willing to
participate with some additional forces, but that this
decision would require time to analyze and prepare any
elements which could be offered. Post also believes that
unless pushed by Afghan and ISAF officials, the GON will
avoid any decision on additional contributions, believing
that their existing efforts are sufficient.

2. (U) Norway's Afghanistan commitment is its top
international commitments, militarily and in humanitarian
aid. The GON considers the Afghan election in 2009 to be a
milestone in the development and consolidation of democracy
in Afghanistan. Norway's current support for the elections
includes:

-- 15 million kroner (approximately 2.5 million dollars) for
voter registration.
-- Coordination of joint Nordic efforts in support of the
elections, including efforts to build capacity among Afghan
officials, encouraging more awareness on gender equality and
its role in elections, and working on communication
initiatives.
-- Norway's embassy is also actively involved with the Afghan
government and the UN in planning for the elections.

WHITNEY

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