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