Civilian Causalities Hidden from Norwegian Public

According to Norwegian daily Aftenposten, the U.S. diplomatic corps of a secret meetings leaked from Wikileaks lead to a surprising and new perspective on Norway's role in the political leadership of NATO during the war in Afghanistan.

In a meeting minutes from NATO's supreme body in September 2008, the U.S. NATO delegation wrote that "Norway's ambassador underlined the need to avoid a public debate about the reporting of the number of civilians killed."

In one occasion, the Norwegian ambassador to NATO, the current London ambassador Kim Traavik, criticized the UN reports about civilian casualties by accusing UN of exaggerating the numbers. However, Traavik told Aftenposten that the minutes must have been misunderstood.

-Norway was one of the countries that most strongly argued that NATO and ISAF should have taken steps to reduce civilian casualties. We act according to humanitarian reasons in Afghanistan, "said Ambassador Kim Traavik.

On the other hand, the secretary general of Amnesty Norway John Peder Egenæs said it is totally unacceptable that Norway has covered the losses. Egenæs also noted that it's incredibly important that Aftenposten and Wikileaks proved something they had suspected for long time. "This is the exact contrary to what we expect from the Norwegian authorities", concluded the secretary general.

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