US Defense Chief Carter To Visit NATO Allies UK, Norway
By DoD News
US Defense Secretary Ash Carter will travel to the United Kingdom and Norway Sept. 6-9 to meet with top officials from the two longstanding NATO allies, DoD officials said Friday in a statement.
Carter and U.K. and Norwegian leaders will participate in discussions regarding U.N. peacekeeping operations and to update counterparts on recent momentum in the counter-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant campaign, officials said.
U.S., U.K. Special Relationship
Carter will visit with U.K. leaders on Sept. 7, highlighting the enduring special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom and the ongoing and important role the United Kingdom plays on security in Europe and globally, according to officials.
Carter’s public events in the U.K. will include a major speech at Oxford University — where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar — and a joint press conference with U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, officials said.
On Sept. 8, Carter will lead the U.S. delegation to the U.K.-hosted U.N. Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial, where he will highlight U.S. contributions to U.N. peacekeeping operations and discuss areas of potential improvement, officials said.
The defense ministerial will provide an update on pledges made during the leaders’ summit on peacekeeping that President Barack Obama hosted in 2015, at which more than 40 nations discussed efforts to strengthen and modernize U.N. peacekeeping operations. Carter will also announce additional U.S. contributions to U.N. peacekeeping.
While in London, Carter is expected to hold bilateral meetings with several of his defense counterparts, including Fallon, Turkish Minister of National Defense Fikri Isik and Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman, officials said.
Meeting With Norwegian Minister of Defense
On the afternoon of Sept. 8, Carter will travel to Norway, a close NATO ally actively strengthening security in the North Atlantic, officials said. In addition to being a NATO stalwart, Norway has proven a valuable contributor to the counter-ISIL campaign.
On Sept. 9, Carter will meet with Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide in Bodø to view Norwegian military capabilities, according to officials. Carter and Søreide will then travel to Oslo for a joint press conference.