Time: 5:00 p.m. CEST Update:10:43 p.m. CEST
The U.S. Nordic leaders joint statement, as published by the White House incorporates several key range of issues from democracy, rule of law, trade relations, energy, Arctic, to security issues and tends to “reaffirm our deep partnership bashed on shared fundamental values.” Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the United States build on the U.S.-Nordic meeting in 2013 in Stockholm.
As the statement explains, “the U.S., Denmark, Iceland, and Norway are committed to building on NATO’s enhanced opportunity partners’ framework in order to promote a close political dialogue and military cooperation between Finland and Sweden and NATO Allies (28+2).” With the both memberships in NATO and the EU, “the Nordic states, and the United States influence on the regional security and to the overall stability in Europe.
The United States and the Nordic countries react to the Russia’s growing military and presence in the Baltic Sea region, “its nuclear posturing, its undeclared exercises, and the provocative actions taken by Russian aircraft and naval vessels.”
All call on Russia “to ensure its military maneuvers and exercises are in full compliance with its international obligations.” The countries would like to see the dialogue with Russia on the issues of common concern, “counter-ISIL campaign and ongoing efforts to negotiate an end to the conflict in Syria.”
“We agreed to work together in support of a political settlement to end the Syrian civil war, and countries will work together to counter violent extremism and prevent people to be radicalized in the first place,” President Obama said during the multilateral meeting.
With the joint statement, “the U.S. and the Nordic countries reaffirm our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.”
Further, in the anticipation of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, Denmark and Norway are prepared to join the United States in contributing to enhanced allied forward presence with concrete contribution.
The U.S. and the five Nordic countries will work on “the importance of maintaining the Arctic region,” based on international documents. In addition, the statement emphasized that the U.S. and the EU “are working to complete negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) in 2016.” We also look forward to exploring ways to bolster trade and investment among the United States, Norway, and Iceland.
The statement also builds on the efforts “to combat illicit financial flows and help build capacity for civil society to aid in the fight against corruption.” The U.S.-Nordic cooperation “will support the Addis Tax Initiative, will support developing countries in efforts for enhanced taxation and new efforts to combat tax evasion,” the statement says.
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama welcomed today at the White House leaders of the five Nordic countries. During the welcoming ceremony indoor at the White House due to the cloudy weather, President Obama said that in the world, America’s closest partner are “democracies” and “we all need to look at our Nordic friends to see why.”
“We share same interest and we share the same values. We believe that our citizens have the right to live in freedom and security, free from terrorism and in Europe where smaller nations are not bullied by larger nations,” Obama said. The President explained that the U.S. shares with Nordic states believe “in free markets and trade and support of jobs and strong protections for workers, and the environment and strong safety net that give a basic measure of security in life.”
Despite the innovations, on which this countries are planetary known, Obama addressed that “in a world of growing economic disparities, Nordic countries have some of the least income inequality in the world.”
President Obama said that even though Nordic partners “are not large countries,” the U.S. cooperates with them in various fields, reaching from security, economics to humanitarian assistance. The meeting, where a possible subject for talks could be Russian influence in the area, should emphasized the “extraordinary importance” of the Nordic countries in “shaping and maintaining an international order.”
The five guests of the White House are President of Finland Suili Niinistö, Erna Solberg, Prime minister of Norway, Prime minister of Sweeden Kjell Stefan Löfven, Prime minister of Danmark Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and Prime minister of Iceland Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson.