OSLO // Norway's prime minister yesterday called on political leaders to exercise caution as the country emerges from mourning the 77 victims of a bombing and youth camp massacre by an anti-Muslim extremist.
Jens Stoltenberg did not single out anyone, but seemed to be referring to the sometimes harsh discussions on immigration when he told parliament that the July 22 attacks gave reason to reflect on "what we have thought, said and written". "We all have something to learn from the tragedy," he said at a ceremony honouring the victims.
"Our promise is that we take with us the spirit of July 22 when political work resumes. We will behave with the same wisdom and respect as the Norwegian people."
Norway's political parties have agreed to postpone campaigning for local elections in September until mid-August, as the nation continues its mourning.
Confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik says his attacks were an attempt at cultural revolution, aimed at purging Europe of Muslims and punishing politicians who have embraced multiculturalism.
Norway's Progress Party, the country's biggest mainstream voice against immigration, has confirmed that Breivik used to be a member of the party. It strongly condemned his actions and voiced its sympathies for the Labour Party in the aftermath of the attacks.
In his manifesto, Breivik said he left the Progress Party because they were too moderate and he no longer believed in stopping immigration of Muslims by democratic means.
At the ceremony yesterday, parliament speaker Dag Terje Andersen read the names of the victims as lawmakers, cabinet ministers, King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon stood in silence.
Mr Stoltenberg said August 21 would be a national memorial day to commemorate the victims.