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Nordic leaders meet Obama to discuss broad agenda

Published fredag 13 maj 2016 kl 10.46
Viewpoints on Nordic leaders' visit with Obama
(1:55 min)
Photo: Jonas Ekströmer / TT
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Charles Kupchan, the White House's senior director for European affairs, meets journalists ahead of Friday's meeting between Obama and Nordic leaders. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer / TT
Photo: Jonas Ekströmer / TT
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US President Barack Obama, right, pictured with the Prime Ministers of the Nordic countries and the President of Finland (next to Obama). Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven is third from the right. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer / TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, along with leaders of the other Nordic countries, are meeting US President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday, to discuss security policy, climate issues, migration and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP.

The foreign commentator for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter believes that relations between the US and Sweden have never been as warm as they are now, and Swedish Radio News reports that it is unusual that several countries - in this case the prime ministers of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland, and the President of Finland - are invited at once for an official visit to the White House.

"I believe that the US sees the Nordic countries as a part of the solution and not the problem. They've invited our leaders to talk about everything from security and defense questions to trade questions, so it's a broad agenda that we have in common with the US," Sweden's ambassador to Washington, Björn Lyrvall, told Swedish Radio News.

In the US, the meeting is being interpreted as a clear marker that co-operation with the Nordics is important, not least when it comes to Russia.

"We share the concern of countries in the region, typically those that have a border with Russia, about the increasing presence of Russian military assets in the area," Charles Kupchan, the White House's senior director for European affairs, told Swedish Radio News.

Kupchan stressed that the US perceives the five Nordic countries as a whole, when it comes to security policy, despite the fact that Sweden and Finland are not members of NATO.

"NATO's door remains open," said Kupchan. "I know that there are conversations taking place in Finland and in Sweden of one day joining NATO."

After the meeting, the Nordic leaders are scheduled to join Obama for a state dinner.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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