April 25, 2015 -- Updated 4:10 pm GMT

Qatari Emir on State Visit to Indonesia

Posted in: Qatar

Tuesday saw Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani meet with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during a state visit to that country.

qatar indonesia 300x227 Qatari Emir on State Visit to Indonesia

The two discussed bilateral ties and investment during a meeting.

“The two leaders agreed to strengthen efforts and increase the volume of (bilateral) trade,” presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal said.

That meant in the sectors of LNG gas, telecoms, the aircraft industry and investments in trade, energy, agriculture, transport, infrastructure and tourism.

The Emir also discussed buying an Indonesian-made CASA/IPTN CN-235 transport aircraft.

“This was a surprise for the president. He didn’t say how many he wanted to buy but he did convey he wanted to buy them,” Djalal said.

Indonesia and Qatar go back a ways with bilateral ties. Qatar already has deals with Indonesia as a supplier of LNG gas, since Indonesia is both an importer, exporter and trader in LNG. Plus, some 30,000 Indonesians live and work in Qatar as hotel workers and in the oil and gas industries.

Bergen International Festival Opened by Norway’s King & Queen

Posted in: Norway

The 57th annual Bergen International Festival began today in Bergen, Norway. king harald bergen 300x209 Bergen International Festival Opened by Norways King & Queen

The largest arts festival in the Nordic countries, it was opened by Norway’s very own King Harald V and Queen Sonja.

The royal couple were greeted by crowds when they arrived in the western city. Mayor Gunnar Bakke welcomed the King and Queen, and two students from the Strusshamn Askoy dressed in traditional clothes gave them flowers.

At Grieg Hall, King Harald gave a speech which officially opened the festival. It is dedicated to music, literature, theater, dance, opera and art.

Such acts that would be appearing this year are Soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and Sissel Kyrkjebo, electronica pioneer Knut Wiggen, and even Indian music in collaboration with a Hindu temple located in Bergen.

Akishino & Kiko in Romania

Posted in: Japan

Japan’s Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko made their final stop on their European tour in Romania Tuesday. They arrived mid-day, and began their official duties on Wednesday.

akishino university 222x300 Akishino & Kiko in Romania

One of the first things they did was lay a wreath at the memorial of the Unknown Soldier in Bucharest.

The royal couple went on to meet with Romania’s leaders, such as President Traian Basescu at Cotroceni Palace, and Cultural Minister Theodor Paleologu.

Afterward, Akishino and Kiko met with Mircea Geoana and Roberta Anastase, the chairmen of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.

Later on in the afternoon, the prince and princess went to Bucharest University to see it’s Japanese language department. There, they chatted with professors and students and saw how the students learn to read and speak Japanese using computers.

Following the visit to the University, their royal highnesses will go to the Village Museum to plant cherry trees, and then visit the Ministry of Culture, Religious Affairs and National Heritage.

Wednesday evening would see an official dinner in honor of the Japanese royals.

Akishino and Kiko’s visit to Romania was extended from three to four days. Their stay will end Friday.

Romania is their last stop on their tour of the Danube region, in which they are marking bilateral tie anniversaries between Japan and four European nations.