Good friends visit Germany

Angela Merkel meets with Erna Solberg Good friends visit Germany

On Tuesday Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, a good friend from the realm of international politics. Their meeting focused on bilateral and topical international issues, in particular the situation in Syria. But Norway’s role as Guest of Honour of the Frankfurt Book Fair was also a topic discussed.

Chancellor Angela Merkel greets Erna Solberg, Norway's Prime Minister, at the Federal Chancellery.

On the way to the Frankfurt Book Fair, Prime Minister Erna Solberg (at left) visited Chancellor Angela Merkel

Photo: Bundesregierung/Steins

Norway and Germany are partners with common values within NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and share similar views on many international issues.

In a statement Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed that she agrees with Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s rejection of Turkey’s military operation across the border into Syria. We are monitoring the situation “with concern” she said. “I have frequently said that this military action must be ended and that we must return to the negotiating table,” said Angela Merkel.

Political and cultural cooperation

Germany and Norway are closely interconnected in terms of energy policy, both with respect to gas exports and renewables, especially hydro-power and storage options.

The Chancellor also underlined the fact that the two countries are cooperating in Brazil on the Amazon Fund. “Norway is making a huge contribution here. And we are endeavouring, especially together, to retain standards in negotiations with Brazil.”

The partnership with Norway, which is not a member state of the European Union, is very close. Along with the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands and the USA, Germany is one of Norway’s main trading partners.

Relations are also marked by close cooperation on security matters and in the energy sector. A large percentage of the natural gas used in Germany comes from Norway, which is the world’s third largest gas exporter; only Russia and Qatar export more natural gas. In 2019 Norway is the Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Global cooperation on health issues

Angela Merkel and Erna Solberg attach great importance to global cooperation on health issues. “We now have a long-standing tradition of common action in this regard,” said the Chancellor. At the UN General Assembly in September the two countries proposed the action plan for achieving the sustainable development goal (SDG) that relates to health.

During Erna Solberg’s visit in 2018, Angela Merkel stressed that Germany and Norway are united in their “shared view of the world and in the fact that we believe that multilateralism, that finding shared solutions, are the key to achieving win-win situations and general progress.”

In a joint letter sent with Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, they advocated a Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All. “It is not just one moment, it is a process that we must pursue,” said the Chancellor.