Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Finnish state visit to Norway in October

The Norwegian royal court and the office of the President of Finland today announced that the new Finnish President, Sauli Niinistö, and his wife Jenni Haukio will pay a state visit to Norway from 10 to 12 October. There will be the usual welcoming ceremony in the Palace Square, followed by lunch and a wreath-laying ceremony at the National Monument at Akershus Fortress. President Niinistö will then call on the First Vice-Speaker of Parliament, Øivind Korsberg, and the Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, while his wife will open an art exhibition. The King and Queen will give a state banquet in the evening, which will also be attended by the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and Princess Astrid.
The next day the President will give a lecture at the House of Literature and then attend a conference, while his wife, who is herself a poet, will remain longer at the House of Literature together with the Queen in order to get a presentation of Norwegian poetry. The Prime Minister will host a luncheon before the guests visit a school at Stovner. The day ends with a reception at the Opera House, hosted by the President and First Lady of Finland.
On the third and final day, the Finnish guests will visit Tromsø and attend engagements focusing on mutual Finnish-Norwegian issues concerning the Arctic area. Unusually, the King and Queen will not accompany their guests on the final day, as they always do, but delegate this task to the Crown Prince.
Sauli Niinistö was elected President of Finland in February, in succession to Tarja Halonen, and sworn in on 1 March. In keeping with Finnish tradition he made a state visit to Sweden shortly after his inauguration.

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