The Norwegian Ambassador in the Philippines, Knut Solem, has left office on April 30. He will be replaced by Erik Førner although a precise date on when he takes office is still unclear. In the mean time, the Ambassador’s work will be handled by Knut-Are Sprauten Okstad. The appointment of Erik Førner, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has recently been approved by the Norwegian State Council.
Knut Solem summarises his time in the Philippines with great affection.
“It has been four and a half interesting years marked by great challenges. Southeast Asia has become an important region for Norway over the past years. The bilateral Norwegian-Philippine cooperation has been strengthened both politically and financially. Due to the economical growth in this country, it has become a very interesting market for Norwegian businesses.
On a personal level, my tenure here in The Philippines has been nothing but joyous. The human resources and people in this country is really something,” he said to the official embassy website.
In addition to the change in the Ambassadorship, there will be a reshuffle of staff members. Head of Consular and Administration, Gro Snuggerud, was transferred to the Embassy in Nairobi, and was replaced by Lill Vaksdal. Per Jonas Xia Mehus resigned from the Visa section, and is replaced by Karl Johan Haabeth, who vacated his job in Hanoi.
The Embassy in Manila will also be housed at a different address from January 2015, due to the termination of the current lease agreement.