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Steinmeier in Norway

DW staff (nda)August 27, 2007

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store Monday welcomed his German counterpart Frank Walter Steinmeier for talks on energy, global warming and the strategic importance of the Arctic regions.

The effects of global warming are increasingly clear at the North PoleImage: AP

"We shall continue our dialogue on the themes we have had in the past year," Store told Norwegian news agency NTB.

The two foreign ministers had earlier met in Berlin and at Melkoya near Hammerfest, northern Norway where Norwegian energy giant Statoil is building a production facility for liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Snohvit gas field.

Energy meeting with "responsible" partner

Entführte Deutsche angeblich ermordet
Steinmeier visited Norway with German business leadersImage: AP

The first stop on Steinmeier's visit is the city of Tromso, known as the gateway to the Arctic where the ministers attended a seminar on energy.

Steinmeier was accompanied by several top German business executives from firms including Siemens, EON Ruhrgas, RWE, and Wintershall.

Oslo aimed to present itself as a "responsible" partner and steward of oil and gas reserves, Store said according to NTB.

Norway is Germany's second biggest energy supplier after Russia, accounting for 27 per cent of its natural gas needs and 20 per cent of its oil requirements.

From Tromso, the German minister flies to the Norwegian polar island of Spitzbergen on Tuesday for a firsthand look at the effects of climate change.

Inspection of damaged polar ice cap

Klima Eisschmelze in Grönland Gletscher
Researchers say glaciers are melting at an alarming rateImage: AP

"Today, you can see from satellite images how cracks are developing in the polar ice cap from Spitzbergen to the North Pole," German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said earlier.

Steinmeier will also be inspecting international projects to protect the environment and offset the impact of climate change.

Earlier this month German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a former environment minister, visited Greenland to see for herself how global warming was affecting the semiautonomous Danish territory's artic landscape.

From Norway, Steinmeier flies to the US state of California on Wednesday where he will meet Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

One of the topics of their talks will be to explore ways to combine the European Union's carbon trading scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with those in operation in the United States.