(Olympia, WA) -- The President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, was welcomed to Washington State Governor Jay Inslee's office Monday. The Finnish President joining the Governor in a joint press conference. He also addressed a joint session of the Washington State Legislature at the Capital. It's all part of a five-day tour in United States.

President Niinistö's visit was said to be the first address by a head of state of another country to the Washington Legislature in Washington's history.

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The president’s visit to Olympia  included a greeting with the governor, a performance of the Finnish and American national anthems by the Finnish Choral Society of Seattle, and remarks by the president to a joint session of the Washington State Legislature. Inslee and Niinistö also led a Bilateral Meeting and hosted a joint media availability.

The move by the Finnish President is reciprocal, as it was Governor Inslee and others from Washington State who visited Finland in September, embarking on a trade mission. The group also made point of learning about the "green energy" technologies that country has developed and is employing in an effort to fight climate change.

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Washington State and Finland signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2021 to begin partnership on technological research, port modernization, clean energy and transportation, and sustainable forestry. The MOU remains in effect through 2026. The two leaders discussed further cooperation under the MOU during the visit.

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“Finland’s bright thinking, sustainable innovation, and present equanimity inspire the world,” Inslee said. “President Niinistö said recently that the ‘cold face of war is visible’ on his continent. Finland has not wavered. It was my honor to be received by the president in Finland last September, and it is again my honor to welcome him to Olympia to discuss our partnership.”

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