Sri Lanka's FM to visit Norway, Finland

[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 June 2006, 12:34 GMT]
Sri Lanka' Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera is scheduled to visit Norway and Finland to discuss bilateral relations with high level officials, a media release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued Saturday from Colombo said.

Full text of the media release follows:

Mangala Samaraweera
Mr. Mangala Samaraweera
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will visit Norway and Finland for bilateral visits next week.

In Norway, the Minister will meet his counterpart, the Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store. Meetings are also likely to be held with other Ministers of the Norwegian government where issues of varying bilateral interests to the two countries will be discussed.

Minister Samaraweera will also receive an audience with the King of Norway, His Majesty King Harald V at the Royal Palace, and call on Norwegian Prime Minister Jens StoltenBerg.

A business/investment promotion seminar is scheduled at the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO).

The foreign Minister will thereafter visit Finland, where he will meet with the Foreign Minister Erkki Tumioja of Finland and hold bilateral discussions on matters of mutual interest to the two countries. The visit to Finland becomes important in the context of Finland assuming presidency of the EU from the 1st of July this year.

Minister Samaraweera is also expected to interact with sections of the Sri Lankan diaspora in both Norway and Finland.

These are the first visits by a Foreign Minister under President Mahinda Rajapakse's government to the Nordic countries. It is expected that these visits will give new impetus to Sri Lanka's bilateral relations with Norway and Finland.

In between the two visits Minister Samaraweera will be in London to participate in a series of promotional events titled "refreshingly Sri Lanka," commencing on 17th June. These promotional events are part of the cultural diplomacy initiative of the government to showcase Sri Lanka overseas, in all its aspects.

Senior officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Ports and Aviation and the Board of Investment will accompany the Foreign Minister.


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