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American Forces Press Service

Hagel Confers With Norwegian Defense Minister

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2014 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel discussed mutual concerns with Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide recently.

Eriksen Soreide thanked Hagel for U.S. support for former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as the next NATO secretary general.

Stoltenberg will succeed Anders Fogh Rasmussen Oct. 1. Hagel told Eriksen Soreide that the consensus in selection of a new secretary general was a strong sign that a cohesive alliance was able to work through a leadership transition even during crisis.

The two defense leaders discussed actions in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea. Hagel thanked Eriksen Soreide for Norway's prompt suspension of military-to-military engagements with Russia, and support for initial sanctions.

When the Ukraine crisis escalated, Eriksen Soreide noted Norway is a strong supporter of the work to reassure allies, and that Norway currently is assessing several specific measures to contribute to the effort.

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