Norway’s State Secretary Tore Hattrem is currently in town to have bilateral meetings and to develop further the business cooperation between Sri Lanka and Norway.
The visit follows the successful visit of Foreign Minister Børge Brende in January. Hattrem served as ambassador to Sri Lanka during 2007-2010.
“We want to strengthen the political dialogue, support the government’s policies for reform and reconciliation, promote business cooperation and support technical cooperation. It is the positive political development in Sri Lanka that makes this possible,” Hattrem said.
Hattrem is expected to meet with Foreign Minister Managala Samaraweera, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya as well as other government ministers.
He will also meet the Leader of the Opposition R.Sampanthan, as well as the Governor and Chief Minister of the Northern Province, and the Commander in Jaffna.
In the Northern Province, Hattrem will make a field visit to returnees to recently released land areas in Valalai, which is part of a Norwegian supported project through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Finally he will meet representatives for civil society and the business community.
In response to the recent flooding and landslide disaster in Sri Lanka, Hattrem is expected to announces a contribution of US $600 000 to UNICEF for humanitarian purposes during the visit.
This is in addition to Norway’s substantial regular contribution to the UN Crisis and Emergency Response Fund and the Red Cross for relief in humanitarian crises for speedy and efficient emergency response.