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Norway's Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen has publicly apologized for her earlier call for a citizens' boycott of Israeli products, Israel Radio reported.

Halvorsen's call, issued on Friday, drew fierce criticism from Israel as well as Norway, with Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store sending his Israeli counterpart Silvan Shalom a letter restating Norway's policy towards Israel.

Halvorsen's call "was made in her capacity as party leader of SV," one of the two parties which form the government together with the Labor Party, Store wrote.

"It has never been and will never be the position of the Norwegian government to advocate any such policy toward Israel. Norway is a friend of Israel based on long historic ties," he wrote.

Store sent a copy of the letter to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.