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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08OSLO418 2008-07-25 14:40:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Oslo
Cable title:  

NORWAY APPEARS TO SHARE USG CAUTION ON SYRIA'S

Tags:   PGOV PREL SY LE EUN RS TU NO SW 
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VZCZCXYZ0018
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNY #0418 2071440
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251440Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY OSLO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6932
INFO RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 0215
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L OSLO 000418 

SIPDIS

FOR NEA/ELA ERICA MILLER AND STEPHEN NEWHOUSE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/25/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL SY LE EUN RS TU NO SW
SUBJECT: NORWAY APPEARS TO SHARE USG CAUTION ON SYRIA'S
RHETORIC

REF: STATE 78880

Classified By: Political Counselor Kristen Bauer for reasons 1.4 (b) an
d (d)



1. (C) Political Counselor and poloff delivered reftel
demarche to Jan Dybfest, acting director of the mid-east
section of the MFA. The Norwegian response to reftel
demarche was fundamentally consistent with USG policy toward
Syria.



2. (C) Significantly, Dybfest said that the GON had
considered welcoming Syria's decision to hold direct peace
talks with Israel, but ultimately decided not to do so.
Responding to the general tenor of reftel demarche, Dybfest
said that Norway did not have deep or substantial contacts
with the Syrian regime, that Norway tends to discuss only
regional issues with the SARG, that Norway regularly
criticizes Syria on human rights issues, that the
assassinations of anti-Syrian politicians in Lebanon are of
deep concern to Norway, and that the Syrian regime needed to
"prove" its good intentions through actions.



3. (C) COMMENT: Norway's attitude towards Syria, at least as
manifested in this meeting, was grounded in realism. While
Mr. Dybfest did make comments like "it will take time to
loosen their contacts with Iran" and "we are cautious but we
have to be positive," the overall message emboffs received
was that Norway is in a wait-and-see pattern. The MFA's
decision not to publicly congratulate Syria on talking peace
with Israel is significant and revealing. End comment.
JOHNSON