Burmese Aung San Suu Kyi is finally to hold her long-awaited Nobel Peace Prize speech in Oslo City Hall next month.
The 15-18 June visit, at the invitation of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, will be her first foreign trip since 1988, and follows her 24-year stubborn fight for democracy. Her release from 15 years of house arrest was celebrated around the world in November 2010.
“I am pleased that the Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi can finally receive the tribute as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize,” says Prime Minister Stoltenberg in a statement.
“Norway has long-supported the democratic forces in Myanmar, and welcomes its political reforms. We are happy that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has agreed to visit Norway as one of the first countries after it became possible for her to travel out of Myanmar,” he adds.
In January this year, Norway lifted its own sanctions against Burma, easing trade even further just one week later whilst Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre was on a visit to the country.
The FM met with the Nobel Laureate whilst there, handing over a letter from the Norwegian Prime Minister, which formed the basis of the invitation.
About the momentous event in June, Nobel Institute director Geir Lundestad tells The Foreigner, “We have been looking forward to this for exactly 21 years and are obviously very happy this is taking place.”
“We shall be inviting the usual suspects and be treating it like a normal annual Nobel ceremony, but this will be a lecture. Her husband and family received the medal, diploma, and cheque in 1991.”
Aung San Suu Kyi, a graduate of Oxford University, will also be visiting the UK this summer by invitation of British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Leader of the Opposition Party the National League for Democracy, she was sworn in as member of the Burmese Parliament for the first time last month.
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