News of Norway-Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Norwegian Support for the U.S. and NATO
September 13, 2001
On September 13, the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Thorbjørn Jagland, underscored
in the Norwegian Parliament his governments full and unequivocal support
for the United States after the horrendous terrorist attacks committed against
Norway was part of the unanimous decision in the NATO council to declare that
the September 11 attacks will be regarded as attacks against all members of
the alliance in accordance with Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, given that
it is determined that the attacks were directed from abroad.
An attack on us all
"The collective security commitment in NATO is, and has always been, a
cornerstone of Norwegian security policy," Jagland said.
"During 52 years of the NATO membership we have based our defense on the
firm assumption that our allies would support us if our security and territorial
sovereignty came under attack. The NATO Council decision is a strong statement
of alliance solidarity with the United States, and Norway stands ready to take
part in alliance consultations about possible collective responses if such consultations
are called by the United States," stated Jagland.
"The attack on the United States is an attack on all open and democratic
societies, and to counter and combat such outrageous terrorist acts is going
to be one of the main challenges confronting NATO in the years to come. All
alliance members must be ready to play their parts in this common endeavor."
The United States is Norways most important ally
Defense Minister Bjørn Tore Godal said, "We are of course prepared
to provide the United States with all possible support. The United States is
Norways most important ally. Norway is already providing intelligence
assistance to the United States. If we receive a request for further support,
including military support, we will of course respond positively, and in accordance
with the obligations of article 5 of the NATO treaty. Norwegian authorities
are taking these obligations of solidarity very seriously."
Norway has already provided the United States with intelligence and information
following the terrorist attacks. Godal says that terrorism has been a concern
for the NATO alliance for a number of years. "However, we are now facing
a situation that highlights this concern in a tragic way," Godal says.
Crime scene assistance
Norway has offered the United States assistance from a group of 15 crime-scene
officers, 4 odontologic experts, and 4 forensic experts. In addition, a catastrophe
stress team from the Norwegian defense ministry, as well as a civilian catastrophe
team, are available to help at the attack sites in New York and Washington.
Norwegian authorities are also considering the possibilities of whether Norwegian
ships may contribute team to the alleviation of the human suffering. The question
of further assistance will be in considered in cooperation with U.S. authorities.