US embassy cable - 06OSLO184

REASONS THE SECRETARY SHOULD VISIT NORTH NORWAY

Identifier: 06OSLO184
Wikileaks: View 06OSLO184 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Oslo
Created: 2006-02-17 13:11:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
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 
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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 
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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 
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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 
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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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