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Statement on “Enhanced Forward Presence”

Delivered at the 966th Meeting of the Forum for Security Cooperation, Vienna, 27 January 2021.

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Madam Chair,

Norway fully subscribes to the statement just given by the EU. I would however in my national capacity like to share some additional points.

First, we join others in complementing the chair for choosing this topic as the first Security Dialogue in 2021. We think dialogue and discussion is the right way of addressing different opinions also in the security policy area.

We thank the speakers for insightful and interesting inputs to enlighten us in our future discussions in the FSC.

As we heard today, Norway participates in the German lead battlegroup in Lithuania. We have since 2017 on a rotational basis, contributed with a Mechanised Company in the Enhanced Forward Presence.

The presence is a defensive and reassuring measure that emphasises the NATO Alliance's will for collective defence. Collective defence is crucial to a small country like Norway and is a fundamental part of our defence structure.

By participating in EfP our soldiers benefit from the training and exercises with other alliance partners. We strengthen the cooperation and not least the interoperability of our forces.

Chair,

For Norway openness and transparency is an important element in all our international operations and our intent and reason for participation should not be a concern for other state parties. We know that this is not the case.

Dialogue and discussion like the one we have today enhance military transparency and help to dispel any misunderstandings.

The Vienna Document is  also a tool to use to clarify and reduce concerns a State Party would have, and an update of the current document could even improve this more. In this context we recall the joint statement from 42 participating states on the thirtieth anniversary of the Vienna Document from last Ministerial Council in Tirana. We are very much open to discussions on the measures proposed for improving implementation of the Vienna Document. The Vienna Document plays an essential role in promoting military transparency and political stability within the OSCE area.

Norway once again thanks the chair for putting this on the agenda. We will continue to be predictable in our security and defence policy and to offer (a great degree of) transparency about our activities.

Thank you.