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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 342-95
June 22, 1995

JOINT STATEMENT OF UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM J. PERRY ANDNORWEGIAN MINISTER OF DEFENSE JORGEN KOSMO

During their meeting today, Secretary Perry and Minister Kosmo once again reaffirmed their common interest and desire for close cooperation in defense and security matters.

In that regard, they recalled that the Norway Air-Landed Marine Expeditionary Brigade (NALMEB) Program is a cornerstone of cooperation and should continue.

They noted that the NALMEB program is relevant to the new tasks and missions of NATO as outlined in NATO's Strategic Concept in demonstrating the continued U.S. commitment to the defense of Norway, as well as U.S. support for regional stability and strategic balance in Northern Europe.

In light of new strategic and defense realities, Minister Kosmo expressed the willingness of Norway to take on a larger responsibility for Allied defense in the North. Accordingly, the Minister and the Secretary agreed that Norway would assume all costs previously borne by the United States that are directly associated with the storage of NALMEB equipment in Norway. Furthermore, Norway has agreed to assume the costs of related domestic transportation, aviation ground support, and other items, bringing the total Norwegian contribution to $6.1 million per year.

The United States and Norway agree, in principle, that NATO should cover operation and maintenance costs for the NALMEB program, and both countries will work together in order to implement this as NATO policy.

They further agreed on the need for continued U.S. participation in training and exercises in Norway in order to maintain capabilities for operations in the region.

They underlined the continued importance of maintaining and strengthening Transatlantic cooperation in the new strategic environment following the end of the Cold War.

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