US embassy cable - 06OSLO166

PM COMMITTED TO AFGHANISTAN, FOCUSED ON HIGH NORTH

Identifier: 06OSLO166
Wikileaks: View 06OSLO166 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Oslo
Created: 2006-02-15 11:27:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PGOV ENRG PINR AF NO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L OSLO 000166 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/14/2016 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, ENRG, PINR, AF, NO 
SUBJECT: PM COMMITTED TO AFGHANISTAN, FOCUSED ON HIGH NORTH 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Ben Whitney, reason 1.4 b and d. 
 
1.  (C)  During the Ambassador's introductory call on Prime 
Miniter Stoltenberg on February 14, the Prime Minsiter made 
sure that we knew that Norway remains commited to supporting 
ISAF and will not be deterred by the recent attack on the 
Norwegian provincial reconstruction team in Meymaneh.  The 
Prime Minister said that the response of Allies in support of 
the Norwegian forces, both with Dutch F-16s and U.S. A-10s 
from OEF, was much appreciated and demonstrated that the 
Alliance works well together and that we need one another. 
Stoltenberg added that the use of F-16s in defense of 
Norwegian forces proved their value and will help him counter 
those in the far-left Socialist Left party (SV) who oppose 
the Norwegian deployment. 
 
2.  (C)  The Ambassador thanked Stoltenberg for his steadfast 
commitment and said that we look forward to having Norway 
follow through on its commitment to provide even more support 
for ISAF.  The Prime Minister hedged a bit noting that the 
details for Norway's additional contribution to ISAF still 
have to be worked out as Norway is also looking to deploy 
military personnel in support of a UN mission in Sudan, 
commenting that "we have limited resources." 
 
High North:  Energy Development Will Go Forward 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
 
3.  (C)  Stoltenberg then turned to the High North, which is 
a top priority for his government.  He spent some time 
talking about his determination to continue oil and gas 
development in the Barents.  While recognizing that some in 
SV (a minority coalition partner) oppose it, the PM said 
development will go forward -- "the question is when and 
how." Stoltenberg said there really are no political 
obstacles for proceeding with energy development in the 
Barents but rather his concern was that companies need 
commercial finds.  To date only two fields, Snoehvit and 
Goliath, have proven to be commercially viable out of 70 
exploration wells.  But, with the high price of oil, it is 
expected that companies will continue to explore as more 
areas are opened up.  The Prime Minister noted that as Norway 
builds up it liquified natural gas infrastructure, it will 
become a bigger player on energy security since Norwegian gas 
supply can then be transported, not just where the pipelines 
take you. 
 
PM: "Vaccines are my baby" 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - 
 
4.  (U)  As he was wrapping up the meeting the Prime Minister 
exclaimed: "and you should know 
vaccines are my baby."  Stoltenberg went on to praise 
President Bush for the support and funding the United States 
has provided during his adminsitration for vaccines.  The 
Prime Minister described his involvement with the Global 
Alliance VI (GAVI) and stressed that this was a personal 
priority. 
 
Comment 
- - - - 
 
5.  (C)  The Ambassador and Prime Minister hit it off well, 
talking initially about their kids (similar ages) and their 
interest in sports (skiing, biking).  Stoltenberg, who 
clearly is not comfortable talking about foreign policy, was 
much more at ease talking about Norwegian medals in at the 
Torino Olympics.  In his first few months in office it has 
become evident that Stoltenberg prefers to leave foreign 
policy to his extremely able Foreign Minister - Jonas Stoere. 
 That said, the Prime Minister welcomed the Ambassador's 
pitch that we will continue to look for ways for Norway and 
the United States to work together around the world to 
promote common objectives, as we are doing in Sri Lanka, 
Sudan, Afghanistan, and the Balkans.  Also, if disagreements 
arise, the Prime Minister agreed that it was best to consult 
closely to see if the differences can be overcome, and if 
not, to simply agree to disagree quietly. 
Visit Oslo's Classified website: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/oslo/index.cf m 
 
WHITNEY 
 
 
NNNN 

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