Norway quick to congratulate Obama

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Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg sent congratulations from his breakfast table Wednesday morning to newly re-elected US President Barack Obama, saying he looked forward to continue cooperating with the Obama Administration in the White House.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (left) has met newly re-elected US President Barack Obama on several occasions, like here at a NATO summit in Lisbon. PHOTO: Statsministerenskontor

“The USA is our most important ally,” Stoltenberg said. “Our relationship is based on common values and interests.” Stoltenberg added that “strong American leadership” is especially important in an “unpredictable world.”

A recent poll suggested that an overwhelming majority of Norwegians hoped Obama would win against Republican candidate Mitt Romney, and even the leaders of Norway’s conservative parties have expressed support for Obama. The country’s left-center coalition government led by Stoltenberg of the Labour Party was no exception.

“We look forward to further develop our good, close relations with the USA,” said Stoltenberg, who just returned from a whirlwind Asian tour that took him to Japan, Myanmar and Laos in the days just following his mother’s funeral last week.

Stoltenberg noted that Norway and the US “cooperate closely on security issues and within NATO. Together with the USA, we want to also carry on the fight against global poverty and our commitment to improving the health of mothers and children.”

Stoltenberg and Obama have met on several occasions and Obama traveled to Norway early in his administration to accept the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. Obama had also congratulated Stoltenberg when Norway’s left-center coalition won re-election itself the same year.

Norwegian ‘election winner,’ too
Meanwhile, a Norwegian high-tech graphics firm also emerged once again as a big winner in the US election. Bergen-based Vizrt already can include broadcasting outlets such as CNN and Fox News among its customers, and newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported Wednesday that more orders are rolling in.

Vizrt is behind the ground-breaking graphics used by CNN, for example, to report everything from state-by-state voting trends to the most recent election results as they broke. CNN officials were clearly pleased, telling DN that “all the technology works, all the graphics work,” even after the US’ East Coast was hit by Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed a lot of communications infrastructure.

Vizrt was founded in 1997 by Norway’s first commercial nationwide TV channel, TV2, and stocklisted in 2005. Today it has around 600 employees and customers in more than 100 countries including BBC, Sky, NHK of Japan, and CBS.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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