Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt, President Sauli Niinistö, U.S. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister of Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg and Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson in Stockholm before the dinner. Photo: Lehtikuva
President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö met President of the United States Barack Obama together with Nordic Prime Ministers in Stockholm on Wednesday 4 September 2013. “The discussions were frank and fair, and very thorough on a number of issues,” said President Niinistö to the media in Stockholm after the meeting.
The working dinner, which lasted for more than two hours, touched on subjects such as international cooperation, combating climate change, global development policy, development of the Arctic region and the Syrian situation.
“It seems very clear that chemical weapons have been deployed in Syria,” said President Niinistö and stressed the responsibility of the UN Security Council and each UN member state. “It would be shameful if we were unable to react to this.” President Niinistö noted that the international community is not fully agreed on who actually used chemical weapons in Syria.
Increasing interest in the Arctic region
Combating climate change was an important topic at the meeting. The Presidents and Prime Ministers discussed ways to engage the entire international community in preventing this threat.
President Niinistö noted that interest in the Arctic region is increasing. “The global map is being redrawn in some sense. We are seeing what you might call a New North, with the Nordic countries and perhaps Finland in particular in a key role.” President Niinistö also pointed out that Russia remains an important player, holding more than half of the Arctic region within its borders.
In a joint statement released after the working dinner, the Nordic countries and the USA condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria and announced closer security policy cooperation. The statement also includes a commitment to work together on issues including combating climate change, development of the Arctic region, promoting of human rights and global development issues.
The working dinner was hosted by Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden. The other guests were Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minister of Denmark; Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Norway; and Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, Prime Minister of Iceland.
- Joint Statement by Kingdom of Denmark, Republic of Finland, Republic of Iceland, Kingdom of Norway, Kingdom of Sweden, and the United States of America