Former Norwegian Prime Minister held for questioning at US airport

Former Norwegian Prime Minister held for questioning at US airport
Kjell Magne Bondevik vistiting New Zealand as Norway's Prime Minister in 2005 (Getty)

Former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik is shocked after being held for questioning by customs at Dulles Airport in Washington DC.

Mr Bondevik served as Prime Minister of Norway twice from 1999 to 2000 and 2001 to 2005. He says he visited George W Bush and Bill Clinton in the White House while he was Prime Minister, but was stopped at the airport for an hour while en route to a National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC.

He says he was questioned because he had visited Iran in 2004, and told Norway's TV2: "It appears that when the name of a certain country shows up, all of the antennas go up. This will create totally unnecessary suspicion. I think it was quite provocative."

"I understand the fear of terror, but one should not treat entire ethnic groups in such a way," he told the channel.

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He told ABC 7 he was "surprised" at being stopped and asked: "What will the reputation of the US be if this happens not only to me, but also to other international leaders?"

He says his passport even indicates he is a former Prime Minister of Norway, and he visited Iran in 2004 to speak at a human rights conference.

Despite being stopped during President Donald Trump's crackdown on immigration, Mr Bondevik says he was told by customs that the scrutiny he was subjected to was related to a law signed by former President Obama in 2015.