Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre sat down with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., on Sunday to discuss Norwegian-American relations, climate change and the war in Ukraine.
The discussion took place at the Norway House in downtown Minneapolis, and is part of the prime minister’s extended visit to Minnesota.
It’s Minnesota’s first visit from a sitting Norwegian prime minister in 15 years.
Minnesota is home to 840,000 Norwegian Americans, and represents the second largest population of Norwegians outside of Norway.
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“We just want [the prime minister] to know that if he starts to feel homesick, there are plenty of Hansons and Olsons, Larsons, Andersons and Petersens and Jensens in our home state that will take you in,” Klobuchar said.
Much of the conversation centered around the need for democracies to continue supporting Ukraine in the war against Russia.
“Authoritarian regimes are coming up in small and big countries alike, and when they start to unite in what may resemble an alliance, we have to have a strong alliance of democracies,” Støre said.
A group of protestors briefly disrupted the conversation, demanding an end to the burning of fossil fuels. Police escorted the group from the building, where they remained on the sidewalk for the duration of the discussion.
“I salute young people who get engaged. It’s a survival issue for all of us,” Støre said.
Støre will also stop at Camp Ripley in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Minnesota National Guard Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange (NOREX) as well as St. Olaf College.