State Visit from Israel
Today His Majesty King Harald received His Excellency President Shimon Peres of Israel in a formal ceremony on the Palace Square. The president is conducting a two-day State Visit to Norway.
The welcoming ceremony began at 10:00 am, when President Peres arrived at the Palace Square accompanied by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon.
His Majesty The King and Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit greeted the president on the Palace Square. From there the King guided his guest to the pavilion that had been erected in front of the Royal Palace for the occasion.
The national anthems of Israel and Norwegian were played, after which President Peres inspected the King’s Guard. King Harald then introduced the president to representatives of official institutions in Norway, before accompanying him through the main gate and into the Royal Palace.
Inside the Palace, official photographs were taken and gifts were exchanged. The photographs were taken in the Bird Room, as is the tradition, and the Crown Prince, Crown Princess and Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner were also in attendance.
President Peres met with the press before being accompanied to Akershus Fortress by the King.
The commander of Akershus Fortress, Brigadier John Einar Hynaas, welcomed the guests to the traditional ceremony in which heads of state visiting Norway lay a wreath at the national monument commemorating the Norwegians who lost their lives in the Second World War.
Today it was President Shimon Peres who laid a wreath at the monument, accompanied by His Majesty The King.
Following the ceremony, King Harald and President Peres returned to the Royal Palace, where the King hosted an official luncheon in honour of the State Visit.
In the afternoon President Peres met with the President of the Storting, Olemic Thommessen. In the evening there will be a gala banquet held at the Palace.
Early Tuesday morning President Peres will meet with Prime Minister Erna Solberg, after which he will hold a public lecture at the Norwegian Nobel Institute. Shimon Peres was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 together with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Yasser Arafat for their work to create peace in the Middle East through the Oslo Accord.
King Harald will be in attendance during the lecture.
King Harald, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit will also attend the banquet at Akershus Castle hosted by the Government in honour of President Peres.
Congratulations are presented today from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia.
World Heritage at Vega
In 2004, UNESCO inscribed the Vega Archipelago on the World Heritage List. Today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was in attendance to open the new Vega Archipelago World Heritage Centre – Norway’s first authorised centre of its kind.