Norway stands with people of Palestine, Ukraine: Ambassador May-Eline Stener tells THE WEEK

The ambassador talked about the Free Trade Agreement between India and Norway

norwegian ambassador of India and Sri Lanka May Eline Stener Norwegian ambassador of India and Sri Lanka May-Eline Stener in conversation with THE WEEK | Isabel

In an interactive session with THE WEEK and Malayala Manorama on May 23, the Norwegian ambassador to India and Sri Lanka, May-Eline Stener, answered questions on a variety of issues, ranging from geopolitics and economics to sustainable development and sports.

The ambassador expressed her happiness to be in Kerala, explaining how she felt the southern Indian state and her motherland had a special connection, before moving on to more serious topics. 

She talked about the Free Trade Agreement with India and the reasons for Norway looking at India for its development plans on renewable energy, maritime and fisheries resources. She also spoke about her visit to the Cochin Shipyard and about bringing forward a sustainable development model.

The ambassador answered questions about development efforts and India's collaborations with Norway. Using Kerala's long coastline as a valuable resource for business and the historical reasons for choosing Cochin Shipyard as a strategic partner were discussed in the process. Conversations were also held about how Kerala could learn from Norway's expertise in water sports.

On geopolitical issues, the first to come up was the Russia-Ukraine war. "For us, it is nothing else but being on the side of Ukraine,” the ambassador said.

When it came to the Israel-Palestine issue, Norwegian acceptance of Palestine's statehood was discussed and the ambassador made it clear that Norway stood with the innocent people of Palestine. She also answered questions on the Oslo Accords, the two-state solution and the need for female representation in bodies like the United Nations.

Norway’s perspective on wealth and the race of nations to become developed, the astonishingly low wage gaps in Norway and potential economic investments in India were also discussed.

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