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Nordic Countries: Agreement to Cooperate with U.N. in Syria

(Nov. 4, 2013) On October 30, 2013, at a meeting held in Oslo, Norway, the Foreign Ministers of the Nordic countries agreed to provide a joint Nordic-United Nations force in Syria, if they receive a request to do so. According to Børge Brende, the Foreign Minister of Norway, this step follows a long-standing agreement within the Nordic Council to act together in similar situations. He added that international law would be followed and stressed that there would be United Nations involvement. (Agreement on Joint Nordic Force in Syria, THE NORWAY POST (Oct. 31, 2013).)

The Nordic Council, formed in 1952, consists of 87 members from Åland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. (About the Nordic Council, NORDEN (last visited Oct. 31, 2013).) It is an inter-parliamentary body that, together with a Council of Ministers, “works toward joint Nordic solutions that have tangible, positive effects – known as Nordic synergies – for the citizens of the individual Nordic countries. The Nordic Council does this first and foremost by submitting proposals to the Nordic governments and encouraging them to act upon those proposals.” (Why the Nordic Council, NORDEN (last visited Oct. 31, 2013).)

The recent Oslo meetings, which ran from October 28-31, covered a number of topics, including policy for the Arctic region and cooperation in the Barents area, as well as foreign relations and security matters. (Press Release, No. 451/2013, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Finnish Ministers to Nordic Meetings in Oslo (Oct. 25, 2013).)