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Norway’s minister of foreign affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre, is a soft-spoken diplomacy wonk with some tough credentials. Since he was appointed to Jens Stoltenberg’s cabinet in 2005, he has been caught up in a bloody siege in Kabul’s Serena Hotel in January 2008 and narrowly missed the Oslo bomb planted by Anders Behring Breivik in the twin terror attacks last July.

Støre is a tri-lingual voice of reason but also a robust and at times controversial player on the international stage: he has argued the case for active diplomatic dialogue with groups such…

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