Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met at the Pentagon today with Norway’s Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Søreide. The two leaders discussed a wide range of security issues, to include the evolving crisis in Iraq and the growing threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Secretary Hagel commended the government of Norway for its support to the mission to remove declared chemical materials from Syria.
Secretary Hagel also thanked Minister Søreide for her leadership at NATO, and for Norway's contributions to alliance reassurance and deterrence measures in Eastern Europe. He noted the deployment of a Norwegian frigate to the Rim of the Pacific exercise and the success of our first bilateral strategic policy tabletop exercise as signs of the enduring relationship between the United States and Norway.
Finally, Secretary Hagel and Minister Søreide noted the importance of the Arctic, and agreed on their shared desire to deepen strategic dialogue on a range of bilateral issues.