Norwegian PM talks with Myanmar’s president

On 7 November 2012, Myanmar’s President U Thein Sein met with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in the Presidential Palace in Naypyitaw to discuss the ongoing peace efforts in Myanmar.

President U Thein Sein briefed Prime Minister Stoltenberg on the progress made towards not only democratic government and sustainable development, but also a lasting peace.

The President emphasized that peace is now finally within reach. He said, however, the challenges ahead “will be complex and difficult” and that “no one should underestimate the hard work and tough choices that lie ahead.”

He stated his categorical view that in Myanmar “there can be no true peace without democracy and no democracy without peace.”

The President thanked Norway for its support for democracy, human rights, and peace in Myanmar and said that “Norway’s friendship has been of great value in making possible our progress so far.”

In turning to the current sectarian violence in Rakhine state, the President underlined Myanmar’s long history as a tolerant society with peoples of many different faiths, said that he would do everything possible to end the violence quickly and restore law and order.

The Norwegian Prime Minister commended the President on his efforts and expressed understanding for what the President has said about the complexity of the challenges ahead. The Prime Minister assured the President of Norway’s continued support to the reform process in general, to economic development and to the peace efforts.

He acknowledged the significance of the Presidents intention to start an inclusive political process to identify key issues for a political settlement. The Norwegian Prime Minister underlined the importance of the fact that the process is Myanmar-lead, but added that Norway and the international community stand ready to support the peace efforts and further democratization in Myanmar.

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