NATO Secretary General meets with Norwegian Prime Minister in Oslo
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre in Oslo on Tuesday (30 May 2023), ahead of the informal meeting of Allied Foreign Ministers, which will take place on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Secretary General thanked Prime Minister Gahr Støre for Norway's substantial contributions to the Alliance, and its significant aid to Ukraine. “I welcome that you have committed to a five-year assistance program – this is something that really makes a difference – with military support, as well as financial and humanitarian assistance. This is something we all very much appreciate,” said Mr Stoltenberg. He further welcomed the Prime Minister’s “key role in driving NATO’s work on protecting our critical undersea infrastructure”, and commended Norway’s commitment to reach the 2 percent defence spending target by 2026.
On recent violence against KFOR troops in northern Kosovo, Mr Stoltenberg said: “such attacks are unacceptable and must stop. KFOR, the NATO forces, will take all necessary actions to maintain a safe and secure environment for all citizens in Kosovo, and will continue to act impartially, in line with our United Nations mandate.” He said: “we have decided to deploy 700 more troops from the operational reserve force for the Western Balkans, and to put an additional battalion of reserve forces on higher readiness, so they can also be deployed if needed. These are prudent steps to ensure that KFOR has the forces and capabilities it needs to fulfil its mandate.” The Secretary General concluded: “violence sets back Kosovo and the entire region, and puts Euro-Atlantic aspirations at risk. Both Pristina and Belgrade must take concrete steps to de-escalate the situation, refrain from further irresponsible behaviour, and engage in the EU-facilitated dialogue, which is the only way to lasting peace.”