Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg to NATO Headquarters for talks.
The topic was the Alliance’s continued adaptation and preparations for the meeting of NATO leaders on 25 May. The Secretary General thanked Norway for its important contributions to NATO’s defence and deterrence, as well as efforts to project stability.
“Norway is a founding member of the Alliance, Norway is a very committed member of the Alliance and we highly value the many contributions of Norway to the Alliance. You have been in Afghanistan with Norwegian troops for many many years, you continue to be there, you are going to participate in the NATO battlegroup in Lithuania, enhancing our presence in that part of Europe. You help us with support to NATO partners like Georgia, Ukraine and Jordan. And we also appreciate that Norway is the host nation for the Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger. And all of this are important contributions to our collective defence, to the strength of the Alliance.
Let me also thank Norway for Norway’s presence in the high North. And over the last years Norway has invested heavily in new capabilities, new frigates, you are in the process of buying new F-35 planes, and you’ve decided to buy new submarines and new maritime patrol aircrafts. So Norway is increasing its capacity when it comes to presence in the high North which is important for the whole Alliance.
We discussed also the preparations for the upcoming meeting in May. It will be a very short meeting but it will be an important meeting because it will be the first visit of the new US President to NATO and to meet Allies and it will also be the meeting where we will meet the new French President. And I’m absolutely certain that the meeting in May will express NATO unity, NATO resolve and that’s something I welcome in times of more uncertainty, that we need a strong Alliance. The two main issues that we will address at the meeting in May are transatlantic bond, burden-sharing, and NATO’s efforts in the global fight against terrorism. When it comes to NATO’s role in the fight against terrorism we will address issues like Afghanistan. NATO has been there for many years, we are unwavering in our support for the Afghans, we will continue to provide them with financial support, train, assist and advice and we have to address the future of our Resolute Support Mission, the forces level, and how we can continue to provide support to the Afghans.
We will also discuss how NATO can step up its efforts to provide support to the Counter-ISIL coalition. We provide some AWACS support, we train Iraqi forces, but we will look into what more NATO can do.”
The full text can be found here: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_143443.htm