In Recognition of Norway's Constitution Day
Ms. McCOLLUM of Minnesota. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the people of the Kingdom of Norway and extend my congratulations to King Harald V, and to Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, as Norway celebrates its national day of recognition of the adoption of its constitution on May 17, 2006.
It was on May 17, 1814, that Norway adopted its constitution, making the country free and independent. The United States and Norway have long had a strong relationship, founded on cooperation on important bilateral and regional issues, as well as on shared values. Our countries are engaged on every level, including on economic, security and cultural matters, in a relationship that reflects a shared commitment to further strengthening our relationship. The strength of our friendship allows our two nations to openly engage on issues for which we might not share a common perspective, and work together to build common ground on issues of great importance to our citizens.
Norway holds a strategic position within the European community, and through its I membership in NATO and the European Union, Norway is a voice of reason in security matters that impact both its region and the world. In addition, Norway is a global leader in providing humanitarian aid to crises around the world, in aiding refugees, and in promoting human rights around the globe. I commend the Norwegian government for the important and life-saving work it is engaged in around the world.
As a Minnesotan, I and many of my constituents feel a particular bond to Norway, as so many ancestors of Minnesotans come from that great country. The strong links that have formed between Minnesota and Norway extend to business partnerships and social connections. Minnesotans also share with Norwegians the strong desire in helping to alleviate the suffering that is a daily struggle for so many around the world. Both Minnesotans and Norwegians feel compelled to act in the name of peace and democracy around the world, and I am proud there is such a strong Norwegian influence in Minnesota.
Mr. Speaker, we should extend warm regards and congratulations to the people of Norway, the Norwegian Government, King Harald V and Queen Sonja, and Prime Minister Stoltenberg as they celebrate the adoption of their constitution. They have consistently been warm friends of the United States, and I look forward to working with the Norwegian people on every level in the future, to ensure that our two countries maintain a strong relationship.