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Monday, July 22, 2024

Prime ministers flock to Norway

June is always a busy month in Norway, with a rash of meetings before the summer holidays begin and high season for visitors. It’s no different for Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who was hosting no less than six of his foreign counterparts this week alone.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was a busy host this week, here with his British colleague David Cameron in the garden outside the state residence complex in Oslo Wednesday evening. PHOTO: Statsministerenskontor

British Prime Minister David Cameron led the pack, arriving in Oslo Wednesday evening for an overnight visit with Stoltenberg.

Cameron arrived in time for dinner with Stoltenberg at the official state residence complex on Parkveien in Oslo, just behind the Royal Palace, where Stoltenberg now lives. The two leaders planned to discuss what the diplomats call “bilateral relations,” along with the finance crisis in Europe and cooperation in the fields of business, trade and energy.

The two would then be up early on Thursday for an 8am meeting with executives of industrial and energy firm Aker ASA, controlled by a self-made billionaire who’s become a good friend of Stoltenberg’s Labour Party, Kjell Inge Røkke. Stoltenberg and Cameron wouldn’t be traveling out to Aker’s large new complex at Fornebu, west of Oslo, though, and instead would visit Aker’s executive offices at the fashionable Aker Brygge complex on Oslo’s western waterfront.

After the early morning meeting, Stoltenberg and Cameron were due to fly to Berlin together, where they’d meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel. The three government leaders would be discussing democracy, technology and internal relations, with economic issues also on the agenda.

Stoltenberg would be meeting yet another prime minister back home in Oslo on Friday, when Nikola Gruevski of Macedonia was scheduled to visit the Norwegian capital. Stoltenberg invited Gruevski to his home at noon, after Gruevski was to take part in a business development conference in cooperation with the Oslo Chamber of Commerce Friday morning. The conference was aimed at attracting Norwegian investment to Macedonia.

On Sunday Stoltenberg would be hosting the prime ministers from all the Nordic countries when they hold their annual meeting, gathering first in the scenic Lofoten archipelago off northern Norway. Then they planned to sail north to Tromsø on the coastal voyage line Hurtigruten. The prime ministers of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland meet every year, to discuss Nordic, European and international issues.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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