Following the publication of a report that found Norway’s bombing of Libya 2011 “ill-advised,” the country’s then-foreign minister and today’s Labor leader Jonas Gahr Støre has detailed his failed efforts to broker peace in the North African country that subsequently became a hotbed of terrorism and human smuggling.
While Norwegian jets were bombing Libya in 2011, Oslo’s then-foreign minister Jonas Gahr Støre attempted peaceful negotiations with Muammar Gaddafi’s son and opposition members. Their efforts were ultimately fruitless, as the NATO heavyweights refused to support the initiative, national broadcaster NRK reported.
According to Jonas Gahr Støre, Norway launched a secret peace effort aimed at settling differences between Muammar Gaddafi and the leaders of Western-sponsored popular uprisings, while working from Oslo and other European cities.
“It wasn’t exactly a heartfelt phone conversation,” Støre told NRK in describing his direct contact with Gadhafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, who was later taken prisoner and tortured by the opposition following the collapse of Gaddafi.
The negotiations continued through the spring of 2011 despite the bombing campaign. They came to a head on April 28, 2011 when Gadhafi’s representatives and members of the opposition met for secret talks at a hotel in Oslo and actually managed to agree on a document that could possibly lead to a peaceful transition of power which allowed for Gaddafi…