‘Historic’ NATO Summit reflected Norway’s security goals / News / The Foreigner

‘Historic’ NATO Summit reflected Norway’s security goals. Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was pleased about the outcome of the weekend’s NATO Summit in Lisbon, saying his government will continue working towards the future. The allegedly historic summit gathered heads of state, prime ministers and ministers of defense from the 28 member countries to decide NATO’s approach to new threats posed by the contemporary world. “The world is changing. We face new threats and new challenges. And this Strategic Concept will ensure that NATO remains as effective as ever in defending our peace, our security and our prosperity," said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the opening.

jens, stoltenberg, grete, faremo, jonas, gahr, stoere, nato, summit, lisbon, afghanistan, start, troops, forces, baard, vegard, solhjell



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‘Historic’ NATO Summit reflected Norway’s security goals

Published on Monday, 22nd November, 2010 at 10:47 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau and Michael Sandelson   .

Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was pleased about the outcome of the weekend’s NATO Summit in Lisbon, saying his government will continue working towards the future.

L-R: Grete Faremo, Jens Stoltenberg, Jonas Gahr Støre
L-R: Grete Faremo, Jens Stoltenberg, Jonas Gahr Støre
Photo: Norwegian Prime Minister's Office/Flickr


Ringing the changes

The allegedly historic summit gathered heads of state, prime ministers and ministers of defense from the 28 member countries to decide NATO’s approach to new threats posed by the contemporary world.

“The world is changing. We face new threats and new challenges. And this Strategic Concept will ensure that NATO remains as effective as ever in defending our peace, our security and our prosperity," said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the opening.

On the agenda was the adoption of the new NATO defense policy, along with decisions over Afghanistan.

The new approach to defense incorporates creating ties with global partners, including Russia, who no longer poses a threat to NATO. Secretary General Fogh Rasumssen used the opportunity to welcome Russia in from the cold.

"We will make a fresh start in our relations with Russia, with the aim of building a strategic partnership," he said.

Prime Minister Stoltenberg, who was also joined by Defense Minister Grete Faremo and Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, echoed the Secretary General’s sentiments, saying he believes NATO and Russia face many of the same security challenges.

“These challenges can best be addressed through cooperation, for example in the NATO–Russian Council. It is positive that President Medvedev participated in the Lisbon Summit. This is an indication of Russia’s desire to further develop the cooperation with NATO.”

Shoot down?

NATO and Russia will cooperate on a joint missile shield program (START), along with cyber attacks, weapons of mass destruction, piracy and narcotics.

The shield was also discussed at the 2008 NATO Summit in Bucharest. At the time, Russia was pushed away, and Prime Minister Stoltenberg opposed it. Norway is now in favour of this cooperation, according to the Prime Minister

“I am pleased with the balance that has been struck between NATO’s core role as a defense alliance and its operations outside the Euro-Atlantic area. This is something Norway has been working systematically towards for a number of years.”

Not all Norwegian representatives believe the agreement will be constructive, however.

“What NATO has decided is a slightly less insane than what President Barack Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, was in favor of. This is still a hopeless project that I believe will never come to fruition,” SV’s (Socialist Left) deputy leader Bård Vegard Solhjell told NTB.

Undeterred, the Prime Minister highlighted the uniqueness of this defense shield plan, refuting Mr Solhjell’s claims.

“That is up to him. It is a firm part of the government’s policies, with a combined NATO behind it. Russia will join a partnership. It is something completely different than the previous Star Wars plans," Prime Minister Stoltenberg told Dagbladet.

Afghan adjustment

The Alliance also decided to transfer security matters in Afghanistan from NATO to Afghan troops.

Norway’s Minister of Defense Grete Faremo has previously announced changes to Norwegian troop deployment in the interests of greater flexibility, as well as increased focus on training Afghan security forces.

“The Norwegian contribution in Afghanistan is gradually turning more in to one of partnership and mentorship support to Afghan forces. Mentoring the brigade that has now been assigned to the province will help it develop into an independently functioning force that can gradually take over the security responsibility,” Mrs Faremo said after last month's top-level ministerial meeting in Brussels.

She was also positive to what was agreed at this weekend’s summit.

“I am pleased that the Norwegian views are well taken care of in the new strategic concept. We have ensured that our security policy interests, and therefore our safety is well taken care of for the future,” she said in a press release.

In closing, Prime Minister Stoltenberg said there is still work to do.

“I am satisfied with the balance that has been struck between NATO’s core role as a defense alliance and its operations outside the Euro-Atlantic area. This is something Norway has been working systematically towards for a number of years. The new Strategic Concept confirms that our common goal is a world free of nuclear weapons. This is a new and a positive development. We will continue our efforts to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in NATO after the summit.”




Published on Monday, 22nd November, 2010 at 10:47 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau and Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: jens, stoltenberg, grete, faremo, jonas, gahr, stoere, nato, summit, lisbon, afghanistan, start, troops, forces, baard, vegard, solhjell.





  
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