Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram had a meeting on Monday with US Navy representatives on board the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier.
‘The US is our most important ally. The US pledge to support Norway and Europe in times of crisis and war is essential to our security. Norway and the US have a long tradition of close defence cooperation. We are now seeking to develop this even further,’ said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
On Monday, the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister visited the US Navy 2nd Fleet and the NATO Joint Force Command in Norfolk, US. Both forces are responsible for naval activities in the North Atlantic and for US-European defence cooperation. These areas are of great importance to Norway as well.
‘The war in Ukraine has completely changed the security policy situation. The US and Norway share an interest in maintaining a good overview and adequate situational awareness of any activity taking place in Norway’s neighbouring areas. We already have excellent cooperation structures in place for this,’ said Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.
The reestablishment of the 2nd Fleet and of the NATO Joint Force Command in Norfolk clearly illustrate the growing importance of the North Atlantic and the Arctic region to the US.
‘Norway and the US have many common interests, and it has been very valuable to discuss the challenges our countries are facing together with our partners in the US. Our meeting on the US aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford reflects our close cooperation across the Atlantic,’ said Mr Støre.
Norway has been conducting maritime surveillance in the Arctic together with the US since the 1950s. These efforts are ongoing, and Norway’s recent purchase of new P-8 maritime patrol aircraft has further strengthened this collaboration.
‘Norwegian-US relations are well established and deeply rooted and our two countries enjoy a high degree of mutual trust. This was very evident in our meetings here on board the USS Gerald R. Ford. And it is reassuring in light of the challenging security situation we are all facing,’ said Minister of Defence Gram.