Speech/statement | Date: 27/08/2020
By Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide (Oslo, 27 August)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide's opening statement at the press conference with the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi.
First of all, let me once again thank Foreign Minister Wang for coming to Norway. We appreciate that you take the time to visit Norway on your European roundtrip. You have already been to Italy and the Netherlands, and you are moving on to two other countries.
We have had an extensive discussion today spanning from the dealings with the Covid-19 pandemic. We have been touching upon trade, both international trade and the free-trade agreement that we are negotiating. We have had extensive discussions on human rights. We have also touched upon international issues like the fact that Norway becomes an elected member of the UN Security Council on January 1.
We have also discussed areas where we want to expand and broaden our cooperation like ocean issues, that is an area where the Prime Minister of Norway also have taken an international leading role. In addition to that, we have of course discussedsome of the pressing international issues of the day, nuclear disarmament being one of them. From Norway’s side we have reiterated our concern about the new Start Treaty not to be extended, but we have also concurred with the US on expanding the agreement. That has also been part of our discussion.
Once again, I would like to say thank you and also welcome to Oslo and Norway. This is also the first visit from a Chinese Foreign Minister to Norway since 2006, and it is also the first visit of Foreign Minister Wang. For us it is of course a very welcom opportunity not only to expand on the bilateral issues, but also to discuss issues on the international arena and also some issues where we do not always agree. We appreciate this openness.