Norway celebrates 208 years of independence in Cairo

Marwa Tawfik, Sunday 22 May 2022

On the 208th anniversary of Norway’s Constitution Day, the country’s ambassador in Egypt expressed her pleasure to see innovative cooperation between Egypt and Norway towards a just transition to a renewable and sustainable future ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference 2022 (COP27).

Ambassador of Norway to Egypt Hilde Klemetsdal


To mark the national holiday on 17 May, the Ambassador of Norway in Egypt Hilde Klemetsdal gave a reception at Fairmont Nile City Hotel attended by an array of diplomatic figures, ambassadors, senior state officials, and celebrities.

In her welcome speech, Klemetsdal said, “the 17th of May is a pretty big deal for us Norwegians. The Norwegian Constitution Day, which we are celebrating today, dates back over 200 years, to the 17th of May in 1814.”

“The history of our independence from Denmark, and later from Sweden, is the story of peaceful, happy divorces and close friendships. One that should inspire conflicting parties around the world.”

She added, “Today, we Norwegians celebrate our freedom. We celebrate democracy, human rights for all, and lasting peace. Values that are easy to take for granted, and that we often have over the past decades. In our quiet corner of the world. This year, Russia’s unprovoked invasion and war in Ukraine, close to home, shows us that we cannot take these values for granted. We must protect them and guard them every day, and make sure future generations too will do the same.”

According to Klemetsdal, it is a tradition on the 17 May for Norwegian ambassadors around the globe to send greetings to the royal family on behalf of the Norwegian community in their host country.   

“And His majesty the king always sends a greeting in return. In accordance with tradition, I will now read the reply from King Harald: “I thank you for your kind greeting to the Royal Family on the occasion of the 17th of May. I send my best wishes for the national day, and for the future, to everybody at the Embassy, to all Norwegians and friends of Norway in Egypt.”  

“And speaking of the future of our children, this year all of us here are more than usually preoccupied with climate change. We are very pleased that the COP27 will take place here in Sharm El-Sheikh, hosted by Egypt. And like Egypt, Norway is committed to strengthening global cooperation to solve the world's climate and energy challenges.”  

She continued, saying Norway has more than 100 years of experience of producing-renewable power, and is developing ocean-based climate solutions such as offshore wind, green shipping, carbon capture and storage and hydrogen and electric mobility. In fact, last year 83 percent of all cars in Norway were electric. 

She expressed her pleasure with the innovative cooperation between Egyptian and Norwegian partners contributing to a just transition to a renewable and sustainable future.

“We highly value our dialogue on regional issues, as Egypt plays a key role in so many areas in its neighborhood. As a member of the UN Security Council, we place great emphasis on Egypt’s assessments. We also cooperate on the rights of women and girls, on job creation and decent work, and on aquaculture and food security. We appreciate Egypt’s national strategy on human rights, and the opportunities it gives for a closer dialogue between our two countries,” Klemetsdal explained.

Finally, she introduced renowned Norwegian jazz musician Trygve Seim, who joined the stage with Egypt’s Grammy jazz star Fathy Salama and his Sharkiat band .

“Their collaboration, over many years and hundreds of concerts, offers a great reflection of the friendship between our two countries,” she concluded. 

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