OSLO, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- A leading member of Norway's parliament said the country's recent withdrawal of its candidacy for the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2020 affects its reputation, newspaper Aftenposten reported Sunday.
"The OSCE chairmanship was an important point in the roadmap on what should be Norway's foreign policy priorities. Now that we have withdrawn from candidacy, it affects Norway's reputation," said Anniken Huitfeldt, head of parliament's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence.
Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Soreide defended her decision to drop the candidacy, which had been launched by her predecessor Borge Brende, saying Norway does not have enough capacity for the job.
"We have made a thorough assessment of what an OSCE presidency in 2020 will demand of political attention, human resources, overall capacity and economy," Soreide wrote to Aftenposten.
"The work of the OSCE is important and we must be sure of having the capacity to carry out a presidency. We thus informed the OSCE within the deadline for taking on the chairmanship for 2020 that Norway was not going to do it," she added.
According to Soreide, who was appointed as foreign minister in October, the OSCE chairmanship had to be dropped as the work with Brexit and Norway's candidacy for UN Security Council for 2021-22 would cost too much resources for the ministry.
The announcement is in strong contrast to a press release announced by Brende in April that was entitled "Norway willing to shoulder its share of responsibility for security in Europe."
"By seeking the chairmanship of the OSCE, Norway is shouldering its share of the responsibility for maintaining and further developing one of the most important pan-European organisations for cooperation," Brende was quoted as saying at that time.