Norwegian silence on Turkey's illegal use of force
Could Norway's reaction to Turkey's use of force in Syria affect how we are perceived globally?
In an opinion piece in Dagbladet March, 29, Professor Malcolm Langford explains why the Turkish attack on the Syrian town of Afrin was illegal. Langford argues that the attack was in violation with international law. Germany with Angela Merkel were fast to respond with harsh criticism of the the Turkish attack, but Norway remained silent. Could this silence affect the brand of Norway as a nation of piece and protector of international law? Langford writes (translation):
Why should Norway criticize?
Norway has traditionally been concerned with the position and importance of international law. As a small country in a large world this is perceived to be a smart policy, and the accentuation of the role of international law has in many ways been a part of the Norwegian brand. Russia's behavior in Crimea was, in an exemplary way, condemned and the target of repressive measures from Norway. A response like this is of course more difficult when the responsible country is a NATO-ally, building their legal argumentation along similar lines as NATO-countries in the past"