Norway’s King applauds Myanmar’s determination to turn a difficult past into a hopeful future

Accompanying Union Minister U Soe Thane and party, Norway’s King  Harald V leaves after speaking at Convocation Hall at the University of  Yangon on Tuesday. King Harald V and Queen Sonja began a five-day state visit to Myanmar on Monday.—Photo: Ye Myint
Accompanying Union Minister U Soe Thane and party, Norway’s King Harald V leaves after speaking at Convocation Hall at the University of Yangon on Tuesday. King Harald V and Queen Sonja began a five-day state visit to Myanmar on Monday.—Photo: Ye Myint

Yangon, 2 Dec— King Harald V of Norway, in a speech at Convocation Hall at the University of Yangon on Tuesday, expressed praise for Myanmar’s determination to turn a difficult past into a hopeful future.
In his speech on democratic development, the King noted the courage Myanmar people are showing in overcoming past differences to build a better future and individuals who are courageous to bring to an end one of the world’s longest running civil wars.
The King pledged to support the process of transformation in Myanmar, saying the country’s commitment and willingness to strive for democracy, peace, freedom and equality is an “inspiration to all.”
He highlighted the development of human resources and education for ensuring a prosperous future, adding the “gift of knowledge” could bring Myanmar people to the “summits of their dreams.”
Regarding the long-term development cooperation Myanmar and Norway has established, the King said he was proud to see flourishing relations between the peoples of the two countries.
On Myanmar’s ongoing peace process, King Harald said, “It takes time to build lasting and sustainable peace” and stressed the need of the commitment of all the people to the realization of the vision of a sustainable democratic state.
Emphasizing Norway’s long involvement in Myanmar development, the king said Norway’s skills and technology will help Myanmar develop its economy, environmental conservation, rural electrification and increased access to sustainable energy.
He also expressed his hope to expand business ties and economic cooperation between the two countries.
In conclusion, King Harald spotlighted the younger generation, saying the future of Myanmar is in their hands and announced the David Taw Scholarship Fund for students who demonstrate a commitment to the spirit and passion for peace to study history and humanities at the bachelor or master level.
King Harald V and Queen Sonja began their five-day state visit to Myanmar on Monday with meetings with President U Thein Sein, Speaker of Pyidaungu Hluttaw and Pyithu Hluttaw Thura U Shwe Mann and the Chair of Pyithu Hluttaw Committee on Rule of Law, Peace and Tranquility Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Nay Pyi Taw.
During their stay in Myanmar until Friday, the King and Queen are also to meet civil society organizations, to participate in the opening of Excellence for Greening/ASEAN Institute for Green Productivity that receives funding from Norway and to make a tour of Bagan.
According to a press release, the main purpose of the visit is to highlight Norway’s longstanding support of the ongoing reform process in Myanmar.
Accompanying the king and queen are also 70 representatives from around 40 Norwegian companies with the focus to develop bilateral relations in the areas of development and business cooperation.
Norway was the first European country to relax sanctions on Myanmar in 2012 and cancelled all the $534 million owed to it in 2013. — GNLM

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