U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Oslo and Tromsø
May 31-June 2, 2012
On an invitation from the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs (FM) Jonas Gahr Støre, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Norway on May 31-June 2. She spent one day in Oslo, where she had bilateral meetings and spoke at a Global Health Conference, and one day in Tromsø, where the focus was put on the Arctic and climate change issues.
Secretary Clinton was very pleased with the two-day stay in Norway, and said to the Norwegian press that “she was running out of adjectives” to describe her experiences. The host, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry was also enthusiastic following Clinton’s visit, and upon her departure, FM Støre wrote on his facebook that he had never had a better guest. The visit emphasized the continuance of the close and strong relationship between the U.S. and Norway, and both parties were able to stress their international engagement on global health issues and the Arctic.
- Read Secretary Clinton's speech at the Global Health Conference (June 1, 2012).
- Read full transcript from the press conference with FM Støre following the Global Helath Conference in Oslo (June 1, 2012).
- Read full transcript from the press conference at the Fram Centre in Tromsø (June 2, 2012).
More about the program in Norway:
Oslo, May 31-June 1
On June 1, Secretary Hillary Clinton had a full program in Oslo. The buzz started the evening before, when the media reported her arrival shortly before midnight. It continued the next morning, when Secretary Clinton arrived at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to have a bilateral meeting with FM Støre and his staff.
After the bilateral meeting, and before lunch, Prime Minister Stoltenberg and Secretary Clinton sat down for a one-on-one meeting to discuss various U.S.-Norwegian affairs.
Lunch, hosted by Prime Minister Stoltenberg, was held in the Akershus Castle, a medieval fortress built to protect Oslo. It consisted of a halibut appetizer, then a duck breast, followed by a dessert of fruit and ice cream. During lunch, Secretary Clinton thanked the Norwegian government and Norwegian people, and emphasized that the United States deeply values its partnership with Norway.
Immediately after lunch, Secretary Clinton went to the Royal Palace, where she had an audience with the King and Queen, who were thrilled to hear about her impending trip up North.
Then, the Secretary headed down to Oslo City Hall to attend the Global Health Conference, where the Norwegian and U.S. governments unveiled their intention to spend 80 and 75 million dollars, respectively, to improve maternal health.
Following the Global Health press conference, Secretary Clinton met with survivors from the July 22 Utøya shooting. The youth politicians were excited to meet Hillary Clinton, a political “rock star,” as they called her, and the meeting went longer than expected.
Secretary Clinton concluded her program in Oslo with a Meet and Greet at the Ambassador’s residence, where Secretary Clinton thanked the U.S. Embassy staff for their hard work both during the visit and with their every day-work for the Embassy.
Tromsø, June 1-2
After a long and comprehensive day in Oslo, Secretary Clinton and her staff arrived in Tromsø at 9.00pm on June 1. She quickly checked in at her hotel, and walked over to local restaurant Emmas Drømmekjøkken for a private dinner with FM Støre. On the menu was crayfish, reindeer and cloudberries. The evening ended with a stroll through the streets of Tromsø accompanied by the astonishing midnight sun.
June 2 had a busy schedule, which started with an Arctic Research Vessel tour onboard R/V Helmer Hanssen. Together with FM Støre, Ambassador White, Norwegian Ambassador to the U.S. Wegger Strømmen, Tromsø Univerity Rector Jarle Aarbekke and others, Secretary Clinton enjoyed a two hour tour on the Tromsø fjords. R/V Helmer Hanssen is owned and operated by the the University of Tromsø, and the tour emphasized Arctic research and climate change issues.
After the fjord tour, Secretary Clinton took the time to talk to the local public who had lined up on the Tromsø harbor, before she, the U.S. delegation, and the Norwegian delegation drove to the Fram Centre for a roundtable discussion on the High North, environment, energy, business and climate. Participants in the roundtable were CEO of Statoil Helge Lund, Director of CICERO Cecilie Mauritzen, Exxon-Mobil Country Director Meg O’Neill, in addition to the Secretary and FM Støre. Following the discussion, Secretary Clinton and FM Støre met with the press, where both Ministers voiced their appreciation to Tromsø city for hosting them, and highlighted the importance of the Arctic Council and the future international collaboration in the Arctic areas.
Last on the Tromsø agenda was a lunch at Skarven Culinary Theatre, where the Norwegian Seafood Council had organized a buffet lunch with Norway’s finest seafood; salmon, cod and king crab. Not only did they dine, but they also got a hands-on cooking demonstration by the Skarven chefs.