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Seeking closer NATO ties on veterans’ affairs

Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide, Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende at the NATO summit in the UK. (Photo: Marita I. Wangberg)

Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide, Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende at the NATO summit in the UK. (Photo: Marita I. Wangberg)

At the NATO Wales Summit in Cardiff today the allies signed a declaration in support of veterans. The declaration will contribute to closer cooperation between member states in veterans’ services and care.

Most importantly, the declaration will encourage closer exchanges of information so the allies can learn from one another.

“Following up the needs of veterans has been an important priority in Norway for several years, but there are still challenges,” says Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide. “We look forward to working even more closely with our allies in this important field.”
The defence minister believes that studying one another’s systems and policies will prove mutually beneficial as the allies attend to veterans’ issues.
 “Our soldiers have been together in operations abroad, such as in Afghanistan, the Balkans and the Middle East,” says Eriksen Søreide. “Many of the challenges are the same, across national borders.”

Collaborative background
Norway today cooperates extensively with other countries on the provision of medical care for personnel in the field.

Earlier, Norway took the initiative to hold meetings in the United States and Canada to study various approaches to veterans’ issues and share lessons learned. Norwegian personnel have also visited academic programmes in the United States to learn about rehabilitation methods for veterans.

Under the auspices of the NORDEFCO partnership, the Nordic countries have established a working group that includes the three Baltic countries. This group meets regularly to share experiences on veterans’ affairs and manage collaborative projects.


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