President Pahor begins first state visit to Norway

Oslo, 6. 11. 2019 | press release

Today and tomorrow, President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor is visiting Norway at the invitation of King Harald V of Norway. This is the first highest-level visit of Slovenia's President to Norway.

President Pahor begins first state visit to Norway
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

The President of the Republic of Slovenia was welcomed with military honours outside the Royal Palace in Oslo by his hosts King Harald V and Queen Sonja. Following an inspection of the royal honorary guard, President Pahor and the members of the royal family also greeted the representatives of the Slovenian community living in Norway. The welcoming ceremony then moved inside the Royal Palace with the official exchange of gifts and decorations between President Pahor and the royal couple and the Crown Prince.

On the occasion of the state visit, the King of Norway presented the President of the Republic of Slovenia with a first-class decoration, the Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav, the highest Norwegian decoration conferred by the King upon foreign leaders on state visits. President Pahor in turn presented the Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon Magnus with the Golden Order of Merit for his service in the development and consolidation of friendly relations and cooperation between the Republic of Slovenia and the Kingdom of Norway and for his promotion of the fight against climate change, the green transition to a circular economy and the eradication of poverty in the diplomatic and international arena.

President Pahor begins first state visit to Norway
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

After laying a wreath at the memorial to the victims of World War II by the Akershus Fortress, President Pahor payed a visit to the Norwegian Parliament, the Storting. In talks with Storting President Tone Wilhelmsen Trřen, the two affirmed the excellent relations between the two countries that share similar views on most issues. They exchanged opinions on the political culture and people's trust in institutions in Norway and Slovenia. Given the trend of a declining trust in political institutions, they both agreed that the transparency of their operations should be pursued all the more vigorously. The line between the freedom of speech and hate speech was another topic of discussion. They also assessed the economic cooperation between Slovenia and Norway, both being of the opinion that there were plenty of possibilities for enhancing cooperation in this area.

President Pahor begins first state visit to Norway
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

The discussion was followed by an official lunch hosted by their Majesties, King Harald V and Queen Sonja.

In the afternoon, President Pahor and Norwegian Kind Harald will open the exhibition of contemporary Slovenian industrial design, entitled "We’re Open". Next, President Pahor will meet with the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, and in the evening, there will be a gala dinner at the Royal Palace on the occasion of the state visit of Slovenia's President to the Kingdom of Norway, hosted by King Harald V and Queen Sonja.

Tomorrow, President Pahor and King Harald will visit the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and open an exhibition of Slovenian Alpine architecture at the town's Ski Museum.

The Slovenian apiary that President Pahor will give his host will highlight the importance of sustainable development, of bees and other pollinators, to which Norway attaches considerable weight, having recently adopted a special strategy on the topic. As part of the President's visit, Slovenia will organise a special event featuring a concert, with the promotion of Slovenian tourism and the presentation of the country's typical wines and cuisine.

The main event, the aim of which is to strengthen economic and scientific collaboration, will be the business conference held at one of the biggest independent European research organisations, SINTEF, where representatives of excellent Slovenian and Norwegian companies will be given a presentation of achievements in artificial intelligence, the circular economy and sustainable mobility.