Duterte welcomes 8 new envoys
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday welcomed eight new ambassadors to the Philippines, saying he hoped to forge stronger cooperation with their countries on COVID-19 response, trade and investment, defense and security, and climate change.
Those who presented their credentials were Ambassadors Sultan Al Zafir Al Qahtani of Saudi Arabia, Michel Parys of Belgium, Laure Beaufils of the United Kingdom, Mohamed Obaid Salem Alqataam Alzaabi of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Marco Clemente of Italy, Annika Thunborg of Sweden, Ilan Fluss of Israel, and Leopoldo Lazatin of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM).
Addressing Beaufils, Duterte expressed his gratitude to the British government for its assistance in repatriating Filipino nationals from Afghanistan and welcomed London’s decision to delist the Philippines from its ban on international travelers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To Al Qahtani, the President said he looked forward to working with Riyadh in improving bilateral trade and investment exchanges as well as the transportation and travel cooperation.
To Parys, Duterte said he hoped that as Belgium and the Philippines celebrate the 75th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, the two countries could deepen their bilateral engagement for the benefit of their people.
In accepting Alzaabi’s credentials, Duterte thanked the UAE ambassador for his personal contributions in extending timely assistance to distressed Filipinos in his previous capacity as director of the foreign nationals department of the Emirati foreign ministry.
To Clemente, the President said the Philippines wanted broader economic ties with Italy in order to accelerate postpandemic recovery.
In accepting Thunborg’s credentials, the President thanked the Swedish government for hosting around 15,000 Filipinos and for the technical assistance for the improvement of the Edsa Busway.
In welcoming Fluss, the President said he looked forward to deeper and broader engagement with Israel.
Welcoming Lazatin as SMOM ambassador, Duterte lauded the order’s humanitarian work in the country.
Lazatin said the SMOM aimed to contribute to improving the lives of Filipinos through partnership with the Philippine government on various development programs.
Subscribe to our global nation newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.