Official visit to the US: Embassy Opening
I just came back from Union Station, where I had the pleasure of lighting the Norwegian Christmas tree. I like the symbolism in that tradition: Gratitude and friendship. Strong relations in both good and in challenging times.
Which brings us to tonight’s event: The opening of Norway’s new embassy here in Washington D.C.. And right now we are in the Atlantic Hall. So we all have the opportunity tonight to do an Atlantic crossing.
It is a pleasure to see so many friends of Norway at our Embassy here tonight – representatives from the Administration, Congress, the private sector, organizations and universities, the diplomatic community and many more.
Your presence proves what we already believe: that Norway’s friendship with the United States is a special one, that our alliance has grown and thrived through decades and changing governments on both sides, and that we constantly seek new and ever deeper partnerships in areas important for our common future.
Our relationship with the US is important for us. Our new embassy is a tangible result of that bond – and a well-build means for developing an even stronger friendship.
This modernized embassy was carefully designed to help us engage in dialogues, entertain new ideas and solidify the trans-atlantic work of generations past, present, and future. It is a testament to our shared history and to the same time forward-looking.
Norway today is a country – like many others – trying to speed up the green transition, with demands for sustainable solutions and innovative technology. We are an elected member of the UN Security Council. A country focusing on inclusive economic development, supporting families of all shapes and sizes with the foundation for a good life.
It is a country with a rich history and culture. And it is an Arctic country, bustling with life north of the Arctic Circle.
This morning I opened the Embassy’s Arctic Winter program, with an insightful discussion on how we together can sustainably manage and develop the Arctic regions and the resources of the world.
This winter all things Arctic will be displayed and debated here at the Embassy – film and literature, security policy, climate change, business, research, student mobility and much more.
We want to provide a platform that will lead to solid results and long-lasting partnerships.
Meeting places like this are essential. If anyone thought diplomacy had turned into virtual meetings for good, I certainly hope they were wrong.
We might be seeing a new normal and never return to all our old ways, but at the same time: Mutual understanding and innovative ideas are often built on face-to-face encounters between human beings.
Finding solutions together is diplomacy’s core, and we are eager to have that back. Our embassy provides the perfect surroundings.
And now I need some assistance from the Ambassador.