SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good morning, everyone.  Espen, it’s great to be with you.  I am truly pleased for this opportunity to consult with one of our closest partners, closest Allies, a founding member of NATO, at a time of significant challenge but also incredible solidarity for our Alliance.  I know that we’ll be speaking together about our shared commitment to Ukraine as it continues to defend itself against Russian aggression.  We have a crisis in the Middle East where Norway historically and currently plays a very, very important role, the Arctic Council where Norway is in the chair, and a variety of other issues as we track together toward the summit next year, the Washington summit, the 75th anniversary of our Alliance.  So I couldn’t be more pleased to have this opportunity and look forward to our conversation.

FOREIGN MINISTER EIDE:  Thank you, Antony.  And Norway and the U.S. sees eye to eye on all these questions.  We are in it for the long haul for Ukraine.  It’s strategic important for all of us, and particularly for us who are neighbors with Russia, that Ukraine prevails in this conflict and it comes out of that a sovereign, independent, democratic nation with a full opportunity to make its own choices, and that we need to be with them as long as it takes.  We will be talking about the Middle East, as the Secretary mentioned.  We’ve been working for many, many years – decades actually – on the Middle East peace process, and in the middle of this dark, horrible situation I think there is also a small glimmer of hope, which is that more people are reminded that there is only one lasting solution to be found, which is the two-state solution – one for the Israelis to live in peace, and one for the Palestinians to live in peace with each other and with its Israeli neighbors.  And I look forward to working with Secretary Blinken on those issues.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you.  Thanks, everyone.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future