Friday, August 31, 2007

Norway cutting aid to Ethiopia after diplomats expelled

The Associated Press

Ethiopia's decision to expel six Norwegian diplomats will cost the country US$5 million (€3.75 million) in development aid, an official said Friday.

Hilde Klementsdal, a spokeswoman for Norway's aid ministry, said the decision was practical, not political.

"It would not be responsible to give that much money without anyone to check it," she said.
Norway had been planning to give Ethiopia — one of the poorest countries in the world — about US$17 million (€3.75 million) this year. She said the ministry planned to look into other ways to help projects in Ethiopia.

The six Norwegian diplomats were asked to leave the country by Sept. 15, leaving three staffers in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia did not give a specific reason for the ouster, but said Norway's government has been "pampering" anti-Ethiopia groups in the Horn of Africa.

Ethiopian officials did not immediately return calls for comment.


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