Sat. Sep 30th, 2023
Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt Before Their Meeting

FOREIGN MINISTER HUITFELDT:  Dear Tony, Secretary Blinken, welcome to Oslo.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER HUITFELDT:  And also we’ve just paid so much attention to the visit of the air carrier, Gerald Ford.  And now this air carrier has been followed from minute to minute. 

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Is that right?  Really?

FOREIGN MINISTER HUITFELDT:  Sailing through the Norwegian coast.  And we also have enjoyed hosting 2,500 sailors in Oslo.  So thank you so much.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  And I know they’re on their best behavior.

PARTICIPANT:  They were.  That surprised us.  (Laughter.)

FOREIGN MINISTER HUITFELDT:  Yes.  It really demonstrates the strong solidarity within the Alliance, so I would just thank you for that.  Your message here during these few days in Oslo, and also the fact that we are extending our cooperation.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Yes.

FOREIGN MINISTER HUITFELDT:  You will now re-establish an office in Tromsø.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Yes.

FOREIGN MINISTER HUITFELDT:  Because this is a Arctic capital.  We have more and more projects that we want to move forward so we can strengthen our bilateral relationship, so thank you for excellent cooperation, Tony.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Anniken, thank you so much, both for today and bringing all of the foreign ministers together in advance of the NATO Summit in Vilnius that will bring our leaders together.  I think the conversation today, the exchange today could not have been better, could not have been more valuable, as we prepare for Vilnius.

But to your point as well, just my thanks to you, to the entire government, for the extraordinary partnership that we have, not just as NATO Allies but quite literally around the world.  Besides the security relationship, the work that we’re doing together in the Arctic – and now with Norway’s leadership of the Arctic Council – could not be more important, and we both are deeply committed to maintaining the region as a place for peaceful cooperation.

I think our diplomatic presence post only reaffirms our commitment to the Arctic.  And of course, we’re doing so much work around the world together on food security, on climate, on health.  We couldn’t be more grateful for the partnership, and the last 24 hours were just a strong reaffirmation of that.  So my thanks to you.

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-and-norwegian-foreign-minister-anniken-huitfeldt-before-their-meeting-3/

originally published at Politics - JISIP NEWS