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Obama thanks Norway for Gadhafi help

Oct. 20, 2011 at 11:31 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday Norway deserved credit for its role as a member of NATO in the downfall of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Welcoming Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg to the White House, the president said Norway's "participation in the humanitarian mission, protecting civilians, the capacity of Norwegian pilots, their willingness to engage in some very critical missions there, made an enormous difference."

"Obviously this was a NATO mission that was executed I think very effectively," the president said during an Oval Office appearance with Stoltenberg. "Part of the reason it was so effective was because of NATO partners like Norway. I've said this before but I want to repeat, Norway punches above its weight."

Obama said he and Stoltenberg discussed the global economy "and we shared our intentions to work closely with our European partners to stabilize the eurozone area, but also to make sure that we are all participating in creating a system in which free trade, in which coordinated commercial practices, in which our focus on growing the economy, issues like energy security all involve close coordination between our two countries."

Obama said the two leaders discussed the July 22 massacre in Norway and he "complimented the prime minister and the people of Norway for the grace with which they handled this extraordinarily difficult situation."

Stoltenberg thanked Obama and the American people "for the sympathy and the condolences" after the massacre and said the two countries will continue to work together and "look into how we can expand our cooperation in fighting terrorism."

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