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UK ambassadors from Norway, Sweden and Iceland visit Orkney

From the left: OIC convener Harvey Johnston, Norwegian ambassador to the UKWegger Strømmen, Orkney Norway Consul Leslie Burgher and the Icelandic ambassador to the UK Stefan Haukur Johannesson at the Robert Rendall Building in Stromness. Missing from the picture is the Swedish ambassador Torbjörn Sohlström.

The ambassadors to the UK for Norway, Sweden and Iceland are visiting Orkney over the next few days, touring the county, meeting with the local council and attending the Kirkwall Christmas tree-lighting.

The ambassador for Norway Wegger Strømmen has been joined on a trip to the county by Stefan Haukur Johannesson (Iceland) and Torbjörn Sohlström (Sweden).

Today saw them sit down to lunch with leaders from Orkney Islands Council, before visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Tomorrow will see the three ambassadors head to Kirkwall’s Broad Street for the town’s annual Christmas Tree-lighting. The trees that will stand inside and outside the St Magnus Cathedral are from Grimstad and Hordaland, in Norway, respectively.

Speaking during an event at the Robert Rendall building in Stromness today Mr Strømmen talked about the visit to Orkney so far — which is a first for him.

He said: “There are two things that really stand out when it comes to Orkney — there is the Viking tradition and the fact that Orkney was part of Norway many hundreds of years ago. That legacy, in a way, is still here.

“For us, coming to Orkney is a bit like coming home and I hope people will take that in a good sense. In the way society works here, there is something we recognise instantly. I think this is the same for the Icelanders and Swedish.”

The Kirkwall Christmas Tree lighting will take place outside St Magnus Cathedral from 4.30pm tomorrow, Saturday.

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