The United States Department of State summoned Friday Norway’s ambassador to Washington to discuss the Norwegian deputy-foreign minister’s meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya, in Gaza last week.
According to the London-based Alhayat Arabic newspaper, Washington expressed ‘extreme dissatisfaction’ over renewed Norway-Palestinian Authority ties, calling Norway’s stance a break in the economic embargo which was internationally-imposed in March 2006.
Hard-line congressmen in Washington have demanded a continuation of the crippling economic boycott, despite the newly-formed Palestinian unity government that voiced respect for past signed agreements with Israel.
Norway, which is not a member of the EU, declared last week that it would resume financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA). During a meeting of the Qaurtet (United Nations, United States, European Union, Russia) the United States pressed for a continuation of the embargo until the Palestinian unity government meets the Quartet’s conditions; recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and accepting previously signed agreements.
The Quartet welcomed the installation of the Palestinian unity cabinet but said it would maintain the boycott, while it announced approval of a three-month long international assistance mechanism to help the Palestinian people.