OSLO, NORWAY — Beginning a four-nation visit focused on strengthening our transatlantic alliances, a bipartisan congressional delegation led by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) arrived in Norway to meet with top government officials.
“We believe that the NATO alliance is as important today as it ever has been, and that is something that we in the United States government and the Trump administration are in total agreement about,” Speaker Ryan told Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg at a meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence.
Norway, an important U.S. ally, plays a critical security role guarding NATO’s northern flank. The country recently committed to an increase in defense spending, something Speaker Ryan expressed gratitude for with the Prime Minister. The leaders discussed a number of issues of mutual concern, including increased Russian military activity in the region and beyond.
While in Norway the delegation also met with Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Søreide. Norway has been host to pre-positioned U.S. military assets, and in early 2017, a rotational deployment of U.S. Marines arrived in the country for training and exercises. With the Defense Minister, the group discussed this important military cooperation as well as numerous regional and global security threats.
Throughout their meetings, the delegation encouraged Norway to build on their recent increase to achieve the NATO defense spending benchmark of two percent of GDP.
Finally, Speaker Ryan and members of the delegation visited with Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. In addition to reaffirming the important alliance between our two nations, the leaders discussed the current political landscape of Europe, security challenges from Syria, Iran, and Russia, as well as economic and trade issues.
Members of the delegation joining Speaker Ryan are House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), and Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL).