Norway seen as “solutions-oriented ally”

Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide today met US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon. “We had a very good and constructive meeting and are both agreed that the transatlantic partnership is more important than ever,” says Eriksen Søreide.

 

In a series of meetings during her stay in the United States, Norway’s defence minister has highlighted the complex and growing security challenges we face. In today’s changing security policy terrain, the transatlantic partnership represents a key security guarantee. “Secretary Hagel confirmed this in our conversation,” says the defence minister. 

Norway will pull its weight

“Today Secretary Hagel and I discussed a number of issues, including transatlantic security policy, current NATO affairs, operations, Norwegian interests in the fighter aircraft acquisition, American politics, the High North and the United States’ ‘rebalancing’ towards Asia and the Pacific. Norway is determined to contribute to burden-sharing both in NATO and in the transatlantic context. To see to this goal, we are taking a number of measures. We are continuing to invest in the Armed Forces. We have purchased new frigates, we have begun the procurement of new multirole fighter aircraft, and we continue to modernise the Army. These capacities serve Norwegian interests, but we have also chosen to make these investments as a contribution to NATO and our collective security,” says the defence minister.

Secretary Hagel for his part was concerned with missile defence and NATO's contribution to this system. “It is clear that this is one of the most important and highest-priority projects from the American side. Missile defence will obviously be a central feature of transatlantic cooperation going forward, and will have major resource implications. There may be many ways to contribute, and the Government continues the effort begun by the previous government to identify alternatives,” says Eriksen Søreide.

Good cooperation

The two defence leaders also touched upon several other matters on which the United States and Norway cooperate well, including pre-positioned US equipment storage in Norway and exercises and training in both countries. Norway supports NATO's focus on exercising and training more together (the Connected Forces Initiative from the NATO summit in 2012). The NATO countries are doing so in order to maintain cooperative operational capabilities when the operation in Afghanistan enters a new phase after 2014. “I was clear with Secretary Hagel that Norway’s involvement in and contribution to NATO will be strengthened, and that NATO’s activities and presence in Norway will be facilitated.”

Intelligence cooperation

Norway and the United States have good cooperation on intelligence. This cooperation is important for Norwegian and international security. It is clear that Snowden’s leaks have created serious concern in Europe. There is nothing to suggest that illegal surveillance of Norwegian citizens has taken place. “I have raised this in several of my conversations in Washington, and I also discussed it with Secretary of Defense Hagel today. The fact that Norway speaks up clearly is appreciated,” says Eriksen Søreide. “Norway and the United States will of course continue to work together, and it is important that we have a clear and direct dialogue on these issues with the US authorities. The surveillance issue illustrates the new challenges that rapid international and technological developments create, even between NATO allies,” says the defence minister.

Praise for Norwegian contribution to Syria

Syria was also a topic, and Secretary Hagel praised the Danish-Norwegian contribution to the removal of chemical weapons from Syria, a project now under way. Søreide in turn praised the United States for the leading role it has taken to remove these weapons. “Secretary Hagel stressed that he sees Norway as a constructive, solutions-oriented and creative ally with the willingness and ability to propose concrete measures and follow them up,” says Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide.

 

 

Related news

Latest news

USCG confirms OPtimarin in Line for Ballast Water Approval

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has confirmed that Norwegian ballast water treatment specialist Optimarin has become the first supplier to submit an application for type approval.

New order for Servogear

Servogear announces that they have received a new order from Brødrene Aa. 

Norwater AS reports boost in sales

The Norwater team reports of great interest and busy days in 2016. In a press release, they state that as of the first 8 months of the year, 2016 sales are already beyond target for the year as a whole.

Gaia-facts reaching ground control

The European Space Agency (ESA) has released the first data from the Gaia mission, which has the tremendous task of building the most precise 3D map of the Milky Way.

Polish delegation for Norwegian circular waste management

Against the background of the EU's ambitious waste management targets, Norwegian and Polish stakeholders met on Wednesday 14 September in Drammen.

Milestone at Mongstad Water Treatment Plant

SAR AS reports that an extensive upgrade to the water treatment plant at Mongstad reached a new milestone July. 

Servogear signs new contract with Özata Shipyard

Servogear has announced the signing of a new contract with Özata Shipyard in Turkey. The contract includes the delivery of Servogear Ecoflow PropulsorTMfor two 39 meter passenger catamarans (YN 41 & YN 42).

Statoil and Petrobras strengthen strategic partnership

Statoil reports that they have strengthened their cooperation in Brazil by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Petrobras.

TechInvent and Island Offshore/Centrica announced winners of ONS Innovation Award

TechInvent and Island Offshore/Centrica were announced winners of the ONS 2016 Innovation Awards, at the Innovation Awards Ceremony Tuesday 30 August.