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The development of the Arctic region was a key topic on the agenda when President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö and spouse made a state visit to Norway during 10–12 October 2012 at the invitation of King Harald V. Accompanying the President on the state visit were Erkki Tuomioja, Minister for Foreign Affairs; Alexander Stubb, Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade; a delegation of corporate leaders; and experts on the Nordic region from the Universities of Lapland and Oulu and from Barents Center Finland.
The state visit began with a reception ceremony organised outside the Royal Palace in Oslo on Wednesday, 10 October. After the ceremony the King and Queen of Norway hosted a luncheon for the presidential couple at the Royal Palace, and President Niinistö laid a wreath at the national monument at Akershus Fortress.
In the afternoon President Niinistö met Norwegian political leaders. The topics of talks with Vice President of the Norwegian Parliament Per Kristian Foss and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg included the bilateral relations between Finland and Norway, issues relating to the Arctic region, and current international affairs. Finland and Norway share interests in the development of the northern regions, and Finland also wishes to strengthen both economic and scientific cooperation in the Arctic region.
The spouse of the President of the Republic Jenni Haukio and Queen Sonja visited an exhibition of Finnish graphic arts at the Kunstverket gallery. The day closed with a banquet at the Royal Palace.
On Thursday, 11 October President Niinistö held a speech at an event organised at Litteraturhuset by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and the Embassy of Finland, as well as attended a seminar on the economic relations between Finland and Norway. The Norwegian government hosted a luncheon in honour of the state visit. The presidential couple also accompanied the King and Queen on a visit to the Rommen school. The day ended with a reception in honour of the King and Queen hosted by the presidential couple at the Oslo Opera House.
On the third day of the state visit, Friday, 12 October, the President and his delegation travelled to the city of Tromsø in northern Norway, where the programme focused particularly on Arctic research and cooperation. The programme for the day included a discussion event at the University of Tromsø and a trip out into the sea aboard the research vessel FF Helmer Hansen. Crown Prince Haakon accompanied the delegation during the visit to Tromsø.
- 10/11/2012 Speech by President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs