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Job creation key to fighting extremism says Norway's PM

The prime minister of Norway has called on political leaders worldwide to put greater emphasis on job creation in order to rebalance society and withstand the threat of extremism.

Speaking to CNBC at the Munich Security Conference , Erna Solberg veered away from the subject of defense which has dominated recent NATO discussions, and pointed to a need for government to focus on prevention and the underlying factors that lead to division in society.

The creation of new jobs is at the center of this, she said, as society adjusts to a new world order that demands greater economic equality.

"Creating jobs and job opportunities for young people in Europe, in Africa, is the most important part: that's the part of globalization that is important.

"We have to also be competitive, we have to make sure that we can create new jobs all around the world, because if large parts of our population don't have any hope for the future, and especially if young people don't have any hope for the future, they will be targets for extremists.

"That's the job of all political leaders."

Solberg said Norway would respond to U.S. demands for increased NATO defense spending but insisted that the U.S. could also learn from Norway, by investing more in conflict prevention as opposed to defense.

"We are using one percent of our gross (domestic) product on development aid and conflict prevention, trying to solve problems around the world that lead to conflict and lead to the need for more military expenditure. There I think the Americans could follow a little bit better on."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Getty Images
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Solberg also rebuked comments made earlier Saturday by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, who said that we have moved into a "post-West order".

"His basic view is to be against something -- Western values and Western ideas," she said.
Solberg said the public must become more "resilient" to these kinds of attacks on the West, including the increasing spread of fake news.

"It is a challenge. If you can't believe what's in the media, if you can't believe what you're reading, then there will be a lot of people who have distrust for everything.

"That means they will distrust institutions, politicians, and maybe that is a bit of the aim – to get people confused and increase the distrust."