Norway, Morocco in row over track champion’s kids
The Norwegian ambassador to Morocco denied on Tuesday that he breached his diplomatic duties by helping the children of a Moroccan Olympic cross-country champion return with their mother to Norway.
The custody dispute over the children of Khalid Skah, the Olympic 10,000-meter gold medalist in 1992, has triggered a diplomatic fight between the two countries. Norwegian officials say the children fled Skah’s home in Rabat and were given shelter at Ambassador Bjoern Olav Blokhus’ residence.
Blokhus said he handed the children over to Skah’s ex-wife, Anne Cecilie Hopstock, without knowing she intended to bring them to Norway.
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The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre, talked again to the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Fassi Fihri, and pointed out Norway’s duty to protect two Norwegian minors in fear of their lives. Mr Støre listened to the Moroccan Minister’s version, and they have agreed to maintain contact on this matter.