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President begins Denmark state visit

President Mary McAleese begins a three-day state visit to Denmark today to promote business and tourism links.

Mrs McAleese is using the trip to the Scandinavian state to flag up opportunities for improved co-operation between Irish and Danish firms involved in renewable energy.

The President will hold talks with Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen and Thor Pedersen, president of the Folketing (parliament), in Copenhagen today.

She will also address business leaders including Danish clients of Enterprise Ireland, Tourism Ireland, IDA and Bord Bia ahead of a dinner hosted by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II.

Energy experts have been lined up to detail Denmark's experience in turning away from reliance on oil and gas to renewables.

And Mrs McAleese will tour Samso, where she will be briefed on the community's success in converting the island from fossil fuels energy to wind turbines, solar cells and biomass plants.

A trip to the Samso Energy Academy, renowned for its work on sustainable energy for small islands and peripheral regions, has also been lined up.

European affairs minister Dick Roche will travel with the President.

The trip will also focus on cultural links, with a visit to Roskilde where the President will view the Sea Stallion of Glendalough, the replica Viking ship built in Denmark and Ireland.

PA Media