Hoppa yfir valmynd
Prime Minister's Office

Dinner in honour of the Prime Minister of Namibia

Your Excellency the Prime Minister of Namibia, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a great pleasure to welcome the Prime Minister of Namibia and his entourage to Iceland. The great value of such visits for strengthening ties and cooperation between nations is widely acknowledged. But in Namibia's case there are stronger reasons than usual, because of how smooth and successful the contact and cooperation has been between the leaders of our nations. I personally have had the particular pleasure of welcoming Dr. Nujoma, the President of Namibia, on a visit to Iceland, which I was later able to repay when I accepted President Nujoma's invitation to visit Namibia as his guest. The hospitality shown by the President and the Government of Namibia is something that we will long remember and the visit gave us an invaluable opportunity to learn about Namibia. Of course, cooperation between two very different countries never works out absolutely as planned in every respect. The same is true of our countries. All the same, we can surely agree that our cooperation has been successful in many respects, and in some respects very successful.

It is good to know that we can build on such results. We have had the opportunity today to take stock of relations between our countries and examine various issues concerning the great continent of Africa and the diverse developments that are taking place in that part of the world. I hope that the Prime Minister and his entourage have also been able to find out something about how matters stand in this country. An Icelandic poet once wrote that people's hearts are much the same, in the Sudan and Grímsnes. Sudan is not Namibia and Grímsnes, the poet's birthplace, is just a sparsely populated district in rural Iceland. But it has been confirmed to me today that the same law applies to Iceland and Namibia as to the Sudan and Grímsnes. People everywhere live under different conditions, but their hopes and expectations, their occasions of joy and sorrow, have similar roots in all these places. Fortunately, leaders of nations do not have absolute control over their well-being, and sometimes they have very little control over it. But they are surely always guided by the principle of improving the living standards of their citizens, and making it easier for them to manage their lives and make their hopes come true. Successful cooperation and partnership between countries can be one aspect of that task.

I hope that the friendship between Namibia and Iceland will grow and flourish for the benefit of both countries, and I ask all present here to rise from your seats and drink a toast to the Prime Minister of Namibia and his nation.

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