PM at NATO Summit: Norway to increase support for Afghanistan

NATO Secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer; Barack H. Obama, President of the United States of America and Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France crossing the "Passerelle de deux rives" from Germany into France

NATO Secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer; Barack H. Obama, President of the United States of America and Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France crossing the "Passerelle de deux rives" from Germany into France. Photo: NATO.

In his statement at the NATO Summit in Strasbourg April 4, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg announced that Norway will increase its support to Afghanistan by a total of USD 30 million. The money will be used to train the Afghan army and police with a view to enhancing security and stability in Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister said that Afghanistan continues to be NATO’s most pressing challenge. Efforts to strengthen civil society in Afghanistan must be intensified to better enable the country take control of its governance, security and the welfare of the people. He welcomed the US Administration’s emphasis on the importance of the civilian tasks before us.

The Prime Minister announced that Norway will contribute USD 20 million through the NATO Trust Fund for enlarging and training the Afghan army. Norway will also contribute an additional USD 10 million to the Law and Order Trust Fund for the purpose of training Afghan police officers. Norway is already heavily engaged in training police officers in Afghanistan, and is contributing both personnel and funds to these efforts.

Norway contributes a total of NOK 750 million a year to Afghanistan in humanitarian assistance and development support. The Prime Minister also underscored that disarmament is a crucial element of the Alliance’s strategic posture and stressed the importance of close cooperation between NATO and Russia.

“The NATO’s 60th anniversary Summit provides an excellent opportunity to reaffirm the strong ties between Europe and North America,” said Norwegian Minister of Defence Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen. NATO remains the principal forum for security dialogue between the US and Europe. To read the entire speech by Strøm-Erichsen, click here.

The NATO Summit, which marked the 60th anniversary of the Alliance, was held in Strasbourg, Germany. Leaders of all 28 member states took part in the Summit. Prime Minister Stoltenberg, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Defence Minister Anne-Grete Strøm- Erichsen represented Norway. Photo: NATO.

Source: Regjeringen

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