Want friendship and partnership with India: Norway PM Erna Solberg

Norway PM Erna Solberg with PM Modi at Rashtrapati Bhawan in Delhi. Photograph:( WION Web Team )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 08, 2019, 12.37 PM (IST) Siddhant Sibal

Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg who is on a three-day visit to India called on "friendship and partnership" with India on "oceans and sustainable development and bilateral issues". 

Today is the main day of engagement for the Norway prime minister and she will be calling on President Kovind, Vice-President Naidu and will meet with PM Modi at Hyderabad House. 

Solberg will also deliver the inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue at 6pm today. Speaking to the media after the ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan, she said, "I would like to thank Prime Minister Modi for the warm welcome so far and an impressive reception. Good tradition. I hope the meetings today will have even better way for cooperating in very big and important issues."

She added,"We hope for good friendship and partnership with India on oceans and sustainable development and bilateral issues. I would like to say thank you for the warm welcome and looking forward to talks."

She later paid respects to father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, at Rajghat. In the visitor's book, she wrote,"I am grateful for the opportunity to pay my respects to Mahatma Gandhi, 150 years after his birth. His efforts for peace and non-violence continue to resonate across the globe."

She is the first foreign leader and head of government to visit New Delhi in the new year. On the first day, she addressed the Indian-Norwegian business summit and opened the "green" compound at the Norwegian embassy. 

PM Modi has met Solberg twice. In 2017, during her meeting with PM Modi on the sidelines of G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, she gifted PM Modi with a football. The football had SDG - sustainable development - goal inscribed on it. The gesture was to symbolise attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). 

Last year, PM Modi met the Norway prime minister during the maiden India-Nordic summit in Stockholm on April 17th last year.