Oct 05, Oslo: Norwegian Foreign minister Ine Eriksen Søreide has commended Sri Lanka for continuing to set an example to the world on peace and reconciliation tackling difficult challenges faced in the process.
Foreign Minister Søreide said Sri Lanka is a valued partner for Norway and assured Norway's full support to the peace and reconciliation program when she met with the visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the state visitor's official residence in Oslo yesterday.
The Foreign Minister, looking forward to further strengthening ties, discussed the importance of continued political & economic reforms in Sri Lanka and Norway's close cooperation in many areas including the UN with the Sri Lankan Premier
The discussions centered on further strengthening economic and political relations between the two countries and on plans and strategies to strengthen the ties. It was emphasized that these relations should be carried beyond the concept of giving aid between the two countries.
In addition, discussions focused on taking collective action on developing fisheries resources using modern technology to uplift the fishery industry.
The two sides exchanged views on establishing cooperation among the organizations of the countries situated around the oceans focusing on Sri Lanka's effort to ensure free navigation in the Indian Ocean.
The Norwegian Minister agreed to extend support to Sri Lanka with regard to the establishment of the proposed Police and Criminal Justice University.
Meanwhile, Norwegian International Development Minister Nikolai Astrup has announced readiness to impart the experiences and knowledge of the Norwegian Government to Sri Lanka to endow development opportunities through the official economic program.
Mr. Astrup expressed this hosting a banquet in honor of Prime Minister and his delegation.
The ocean is of importance to both countries. As such emphasis was laid to directing more attention on the ocean economy. Mr. Astrup said that the Norwegian Prime Minister has already appointed a high level Committee in this respect.
Attention was also focused on minimizing marine pollution and protecting marine resources. It was the opinion of both sides that firm attention should be focused in the future on fish farming. Views were exchanged on peace, security and free navigation in the ocean zones.
Meanwhile the Prime Minister also made a visit to the Kongsberg Maritime and Kongsberg Norcontrol Centre in Norway. The aim of the visit was to make inquiries on the Norwegian maritime transport operations. The Prime Minister and his entourage were greeted by the Vice Chairmen and officials of the Centre, state TV, ITN reported.
The Prime Minister and the delegation observed the operations of the Centre on three fields. This was in respect to the fishery industry, defense and transport. Its heads explained at length to the visitors on the operations carried out there.
They expressed their willingness to impart the necessary technical knowhow and experience to Sri Lanka in this regard. The Prime Minister drew his firm attention on the manner in which the knowledge and experience that could be obtained.