State visit to Norway to bolster Arctic cooperation

Office of the President of the Republic
Press Release 41/2012
9 October 2012                                                          

The development of the Arctic region will be a key topic on the agenda when President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö and spouse make a state visit to Norway during 10–12 October 2012 at the invitation of King Harald V. Accompanying the President on the state visit will be 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 will begin with a reception ceremony organised outside the Royal Palace in Oslo at 12 noon on Wednesday, 10 October. After the ceremony the King and Queen of Norway will host a luncheon for the presidential couple at the Royal Palace, and President Niinistö will lay a wreath at the national monument at Akershus Fortress.

In the afternoon President Niinistö will meet Norwegian political leaders. The topics of talks with Vice President of the Norwegian Parliament Per Kristian Foss and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg will include 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 will visit an exhibition of Finnish graphic arts at the Kunstverket gallery. The day will close with a banquet at the Royal Palace.

On Thursday, 11 October President Niinistö will hold a speech at an event organised at Litteraturhuset by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and the Embassy of Finland, as well as attend a seminar on the economic relations between Finland and Norway. The Norwegian government will host a luncheon in honour of the state visit. The presidential couple will also accompany the King and Queen on a visit to the Rommen school. The day will end 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 will travel to the city of Tromsø in northern Norway, where the programme will focus particularly on Arctic research and cooperation. The programme for the day will include 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 will accompany the delegation during the visit to Tromsø.