Norway finance minister quits over IS woman's return from Syria

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Norway's coalition government is close to collapse after the anti-immigrant party propping it up said it will pull out over an Islamic State (IS) bride's repatriation from Syria.

Norway's constitution does not allow early elections, and the next vote for parliament will take place in September 2021.

The woman and her family returned to Norway on Saturday.

The woman, who left Norway in 2013, was arrested on her return on suspicion of being a member of the ISIL group that briefly controlled a territory the size of Britain across Iraq and Syria.

Frp leader Siv Jensen said that she is proud of what the party has accomplished in the government offices, especially the first part of the reign when it was only Frp and the Conservative party (Høyre) who formed government.

In addition the party has been trailing in the polls lately with around 10 per cent support, compared to the 15.2 per cent obtained in the legislative elections of 2017.

She said when Solberg's coalition expanded a year ago to include the Liberals and the Christian Democrats, veering more to the centre and becoming a majority government, "enthusiasm dropped".

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The Progress party had said it was willing to help the two children return, but tried to block the government from helping any adult seeking to return to Norway after having married a foreign fighter or joined an Islamist group overseas, sparking a national debate about what the foreign ministry called "a hard consular case".

The Progress Party offered to help the woman's children, but sought to block the government from providing assistance to adults seeking to return to Norway after marrying foreign fighters or joining Islamist groups overseas.

"There are many ... who are displeased by this, not just in the Progress Party", Jensen said last week.

Decisions on whether to help women with ISIL ties return from Syria has caused controversy in Europe, including in Finland where the recently appointed government settled on a compromise to decide each case individually.

She is believed to have travelled to Syria in 2013 and married a Norwegian-Chilean IS fighter called Bastian Vasquez, who is believed to have died, before she married another fighter.

The split also leaves six other cabinet positions held by Progress members for Solberg to fill.

At the finance ministry, the new appointee will chart the course for the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, with assets of $1.1 trillion.

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