Norway increases support for stabilising NATO's neighbouring areas

'Stability in Europe's neighbouring areas is important for our security. We are therefore providing NOK 10 million over three years for NATO's efforts to promote stability in vulnerable countries to the south and east of the Alliance,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

At NATO's Summit in Warsaw, Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced Norway's increased contribution to NATO's trust fund for capacity building in the defence sector, along with a contribution of about NOK 1 million a year to NATO's trust fund to increase women's participation in the Jordanian armed forces. In addition, Norway will be the lead country of a new trust fund for capacity building in Georgia.

'The unstable situation to the south and east represents a long-term challenge to Europe's security. It is important that this challenge is met not only by strengthening our own defence and deterrence capability; we must also enable our partners to take responsibility for their own security,' Foreign Minister Brende said.

Norway's funding will be used to further develop the work NATO is already doing in selected countries. Important priorities for Norwegian support have been parliamentary control of the armed forces, the participation of women, support for retraining and personnel reform, and good governance. Together with contributions from other allies, this support will make it possible for NATO to offer courses and advisory services to other partner countries in North Africa and the Middle East in the future.

'NATO has long experience in helping countries in its neighbouring areas to develop their security and defence sectors. This has made an important contribution to stability in Europe after the Cold War. Now the Alliance can use this experience in other areas, such as North Africa and the Middle East,' said Mr Brende.

Norway will assume the leadership of a new trust fund to support capacity building in Georgia. This new fund will provide financing until 2020 for the Joint Training and Evaluation Centre, where Norway already has personnel in place.

'Georgia is a highly valued partner for NATO. Experience shows that support for capacity building in partner countries enhances stability and makes our partners better prepared to take part in international missions with the Alliance. As lead country for the new trust fund, we look forward to continuing our cooperation with Georgia,' said Foreign Minister Brende.

The Joint Training and Evaluation Centre is helping Georgia to modernise its defence sector and increase the NATO interoperability of its forces.