PM refuses to sign Nordic letter condemning Israel
Denmark aligns itself with the EU in the Gaza conflict
Helle Thorning-Schmidt has come under fire after refusing to sign a letter from all Nordic social democratic leaders condemning Israeli attacks on Gaza, Politiken reports.
The Norwegian party leader Jonas Gahr Støre, Stefan Löfven of Sweden, Antti Rinne of Finland and Árni Páll Árnason of Iceland all signed the message, which states that they "condemn Israel's use of disproportionate violence," and urge Israel to stop its occupation of the West Bank and lift its blockade of Gaza.
Former minister puzzled
Thorning is the only head of state among the Nordic social democratic party leaders, but her decision to decline the joint message puzzled former foreign minister Holger K Nielsen.
"I don't understand why the Danish social democrats are not represented," he told Politiken, but explained that close ties in the past between the party and Israel could be the reason for her absence.
What EU says
Thorning is on holiday and it wasn't possible to get her to comment, but her spokesperson Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen said that the government aligns itself with the EU's conclusions.
"The Danish government has sent a very clear message under the EU auspices and in other places that we are taking this situation very seriously. We feel that the conclusions made under the EU auspices fully cover our views."