Latvia and Norway vow to 'stick together'

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Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma and her Norwegian counterpart Erna Solberg met in Riga Monday to discuss a range of bilateral issues including the two countries' close econcomic and military cooperation.

After bilateral talks, Straujuma thanked Norway for the recent deployment of troops in the country on a three-month tour of duty and lauded Norway's role as Latvia's second-largest foreign investor.

Solberg quipped that the news was particularly pleasant to her as she had thought Norway was the fourth-largest overseas investor into Latvia.

On military cooperation, Straujuma thanked Norway for the recent tour of duty of Norwegian troops from the Telemark battalion who were stationed in Latvia for "training and patrol purposes" she said, adding:

Latvia is deeply grateful to Norway, the United States and other NATO allies for their solidarity that was shown to us this year from the very start when the events in Ukraine began escalating.


Both leaders confirmed that Norway will participate in the Baltic Air Policing mission next year, and Solberg said the two countries' experiences in Afghanistan had sealed the bonds between their armies.

"We have had very good cooperation between Norway and Latvia inside NATO on military issues," she said. We have been running a PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team) together in Afghanistan and there has been a very close connection between Latvia and Norway," Solberg said.

When two countries have worked together as closely as we have in Afghanistan we know we can find a way of working together that is functional."

"Smaller countries in NATO need to work together to form unity inside NATO plans of action. There will be new areas we can work on in the years to come," Solberg added.



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