|Wikileaks:||View 06OSLO184 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||PREL ENRG 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 000184 SIPDIS FOR THE SECRETARY E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/14/2016 TAGS: PREL, ENRG, NO SUBJECT: REASONS THE SECRETARY SHOULD VISIT NORTH NORWAY Classified By: Ambassador Ben Whitney, reason 1.4 (d) 1. Summary (C) The time is ripe for you to come to Norway. In the wake of the Mohammed cartoons, your visit would be a tangible demonstration of our solidarity and friendship with Norway. Norway is becoming increasingly important as a reliable major energy supplier, particularly as energy resources in the Barents Sea begin to come on line, and could play such a role to a greater extent to countries dependent on Russian gas. We need to have a robust and focused dialogue with the Norwegians about all dimensions of the "High North," including energy, security, and environment. Finally, Norway is an important partner in promoting democracy, human rights, and peace and stability around the globe. We should emphasize that we support their international engagement and want to work with them to advance common objectives. We also want to do our part to implement your vision for transformational diplomacy and are looking into reestablishing a presence in the Arctic city of Tromso. We hope you will accept FM Stoere's invitation to stop in Northern Norway during your upcoming trip to the Sofia NATO Ministerial or come when your schedule permits. End summary. Supporting our Friends, Strengthening a Partner - FM Stoere - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2. (C) Norway is reeling from the Mohammed cartoon controversy. Now would be a good opportunity to remind Norway that we are a true friend, particularly since no Secretary of State has come on a bilateral visit in recent SIPDIS memory. The Stoltenberg government got off to a shaky start. There are those within his government coalition -- the far-left Socialist Left party -- who want to distance themselves from us. But, FM Stoere has resisted this pressure and proven he is a dependable and forthright partner, who wants to work closely with you to advance stability and democracy around the globe. Your visit to Norway would support Stoere's drive to get the bilateral relationship on the firmest possible footing. 3. (C) Norway is living up to its commitment to support NATO's stabilization efforts in Afghanistan and is prepared to take on a military role in Sudan. At present, Norway leads the PRT in Maimana, has F-16s supporting NATO, and is preparing to deploy 450 troops to the forward locating base in Mazar-e-Sharif. Norway has also made Afghanistan a long-term assistance partner. 4. (C) NATO remains the bedrock of Norwegian security policy, and Norway remains a staunch defender of NATO's primacy as Europe's foremost security institution. Norway has seized on the need for transformation and is undertaking a massive upheaval in its military forces to ensure that it can contribute meaningfully to Allied warfighting for years to come. Norway is "right-thinking" on the full gamut of NATO issues. Reliable and Predictable Energy Supplier - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5. (C) Norway, as the world's third largest exporter of both oil and gas, plays an important stabilizing role in global energy markets and is a key contributor to energy security. U.S. petroleum companies have invested more than USD 6 billion on Norway's continental shelf. We want to reinforce that the U.S. recognizes and greatly appreciates Norway's contribution to the security and stability of global energy markets. Your visit would also help motivate the Norwegians to look seriously into becoming an alternative gas source for countries vulnerable to Russia's whims. 6. (C) Norway's role in supplying hydrocarbons to the U.S. is also about to change when the Snow White LNG project in the Barents comes on line next year. Snow White is projected to supply about 6 percent of U.S. LNG imports and could supply more than 10 percent if a planned expansion is realized. As energy resources are developed in the Barents region, Norway's strategic location and northern focus will be of growing importance for us and our allies. 7. (C) Norway greatly appreciates ongoing U.S. cooperation in addressing the proliferation and environmental risk of the decaying Russian nuclear fleet in the Kola Peninsula through programs like the G-8s Global Partnership. As focus on the "High North" intensifies, the U.S.-Norway bilateral dialogue gains importance. The Norwegians would value your insights on how best to engage Russia to ensure a cooperative relationship. Common Values, Goals: Working together to Advance Peace - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 8. (C) Norway's peacemaking adds real value. Since 2000, Norway has led mediation efforts to bring Sri Lanka's warring sides together, orchestrating the 2002 cease-fire and continuing efforts to settle the conflict. In Sudan, Norway joined the U.S. and the UK to advance the peace talks that produced a North-South deal. In the Middle East, Norway remains a central element in Palestinian donor efforts and wants to play a central role through the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee. During the past fifteen years, Norway has also supported to varying degrees peace efforts in Guatemala, Colombia, Haiti, Cyprus, Uganda, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Somalia, Burma, the Philippines, Aceh and the Balkans. Given Norway's propensity to work closely with us as it engages in these efforts, we have everything to gain from encouraging them to continue. Transformational Diplomacy: Re-establishing a Presence in Tromso - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9. (C) We had a presence in the Arctic city of Tromso but closed it in 1994 following the end of the Cold War and in the face of tough budgetary times. Inspired by your transformational diplomacy, our hope is that you could announce the (re)opening of an American Presence Post. We believe it is time to re-establish a presence in a dynamic region that will increasingly become important to U.S. interests, particularly on energy. Our Mission is prepared to re-assign one of our officers and cover most of the cost out of existing program funds for the maintenance of the presence if this initiative is approved by the Department. 10 (U) We hope you can come soon. Visit Oslo's Classified website: http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/oslo/index.cf m WHITNEY NNNN
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