Presentation of Letters of Credence (Albania, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina, Chile, Fiji)
Rideau Hall, Wednesday, June 15, 2016
I’m pleased to welcome you to Rideau Hall for this presentation of letters of credence.
We have a long history of diplomacy in this country, beginning with the treaties and alliances signed by European newcomers and indigenous peoples right up to Canada’s present-day international relations.
Diplomacy is the means by which the nations of the world find common ground. It seeks to bridge differences. It builds on the strengths of all involved.
That’s the kind of diplomacy Canada desires with the countries each of you represent—call it diplomacy for a smarter, more caring world.
Ambassador Muҫa, I warmly welcome you to Canada. I’m certain your experience as consul general and as the director of protocol will serve you well in your new assignment. After all, state protocol is a big part of what we do here at Rideau Hall! I wish you all the best as you settle into your new surroundings.
Canada and Albania enjoy friendly relations centred on Canadian commercial investment and our partnership in NATO. As you know, Canada is one of Albania’s largest foreign investors. I’m pleased to note our partnership in a number of projects to strengthen the rule of law, democracy, religious freedom and security. Canada looks forward to continuing its work with Albania on these and other common priorities.
High Commissioner Chatoor, I’m delighted to welcome you to Canada for your first diplomatic assignment. Prior to this posting you’ve had a wide range of experiences in Trinidad and Tobago’s business community. This experience will no doubt help you advance the relationship between our two countries. I wish you the very best with your new responsibilities.
Canada and Trinidad and Tobago enjoy a friendly and vibrant relationship. In fact, I was pleased to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic ties during a visit to your country in 2012. Today we continue to work together on a variety of common priorities. These include trade, education, security and governance. Our two countries are partners within CARICOM and we share significant people-to-people ties. This includes the educational sphere, where our ties are longstanding and extensive. Canada looks forward to continuing to work with Trinidad and Tobago on a range of common priorities.
Ambassador Suárez Salvia, I’m pleased to extend greetings to you as the representative of the Argentine Republic. For more than two decades, you have served your country at home and abroad, and I’m certain you will help to strengthen the relationship between Canada and Argentina. I also note you are a lawyer by training—a fact we have in common and a profession I remain deeply passionate about! I wish you well with your new assignment.
Argentina is an important partner for Canada in the Americas, and despite the geographic distance between our two countries we share many similarities. We are both federal states with a division of powers with provinces; we are home to large territories with abundant resources; our populations are literate and well-educated. Our people-to-people ties are significant and we have trade relations dating back more than 100 years. Canada looks forward to building on its deep and enduring ties to Argentina in the years to come.
Ambassador Marisio Cugat, what a pleasure it is to welcome you to Canada. My wife, Sharon, and I received a very warm welcome when we visited Chile in late 2014, and we are very pleased to reciprocate. You’ve had a varied and interesting career in diplomacy that will serve you well as ambassador. Already, while serving in Chile, you have proven yourself a friend of Canada and I thank you for that. I understand this is your first visit to Canada and I trust you will enjoy all that our beautiful country has to offer.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Canada and Chile! Our two countries enjoy a broad and multi-faceted relationship, and one that is growing. We work together in numerous international fora. We share values, enjoy a strong trade and investment relationship and have extensive people-to-people ties. I am also pleased to note that Canada is among the top foreign study destinations for Chilean post-secondary students—may such exchanges continue to grow to our mutual benefit!
High Commissioner Mara, your many experiences in government and international diplomacy will have prepared you well for this posting. You have studied and worked around the world and thus will find Canada’s multicultural society of great interest. I wish you the very best with your new responsibilities.
I would like to take this opportunity to offer my condolences to the people of Fiji for the loss of lives and destruction caused by Cyclone Winston in February of this year. I wish your country well with its ongoing recovery. As you know, Canada is home to a vibrant Fijian diaspora, located mostly in British Columbia and Alberta. These interpersonal ties lie at the heart of our relationship, which is modest but growing. Canada looks forward to continued progress in its relationship with Fiji.
To each of you: congratulations on your new roles and thank you for working with Canada. You are very welcome here.
I look forward to seeing you again soon.