The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Presentation of Letters of Credence (Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Republic of Malta, Republic of Mozambique, Turkmenistan, The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg)

Rideau Hall, Monday, November 21, 2016


It’s a pleasure to welcome all of you to Rideau Hall and to Canada.

I believe that diplomacy plays such a key role in building a better world.


Because positive international relations—built on trust and respect—are essential to our collective well-being. Thus it is with great hope and optimism that I greet you today.

Ambassador El Haycen, you have a very diverse background both in education and in your professional work. I believe that this will serve you well as you explore the diversity of our own nation. And given you’re a writer, perhaps during your travels in Canada you’ll find inspiration for a new book! Our countries have so much more we can do together, particularly in the cultural, educational, commercial and security fields.

Canada and Mauritania have maintained friendly relations based in part on our shared commitment to such organizations as La Francophonie. We are also pleased to see economic ties between our two countries, including in the mining sector. In fact, our people-to-people ties are strengthened by the many Mauritanian executives who have studied at Canadian universities. We hope to continue to work together to the benefit of both our peoples.

High Commissioner Agius, as a career diplomat, you know how vital it is that we maintain dialogue. Your experience abroad—including in Luxembourg, whose representative we also welcome today—should serve you well as you assume responsibility in Canada. As you travel the country, you will find many Canadians eager to collaborate and find new areas to partner, leading to mutual success.

Malta and Canada have a growing relationship based on shared values, as well as cultural ties. We greatly value our connections, which was highlighted in 2011, when Malta played a key role in facilitating the evacuations of Canadians from Libya. We also look forward to working with Malta as your country assumes the presidency of the European Union next year. No doubt we will continue to find avenues to work together. 

High Commissioner dos Santos, let me start by offering my sincere condolences on behalf of all Canadians with respect to the accident that occurred in the Tete province last week. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of those affected.

High Commissioner dos Santos,  you have spent your career in the foreign service. As such, I’m sure you have many ideas of how to improve the relationship between our nations. I hope you will take your new assignment as an opportunity to share your ideas and to speak with Canadians eager to engage with you. 

Mozambique and Canada share warm diplomatic relations, and there is much potential for growth. Your country continues to be a key partner for Canada in Africa. That is why we are proud to work together with Mozambique in key sectors, such as health and education, and in developing a sustainable resource sector. Though challenges lie ahead, I hope that we can find new ways of broadening all aspects of our relations, including in trade. I look forward to speaking with you about the future of our two nations.

Ambassador Orazov, you have served your country in Washington for 15 years, and will continue to do so as you assume your role in Canada. No doubt your extensive experience will help us find common ground and will strengthen our relationship. I’m also interested in your research and academic ties. As innovation is one of my particular interests, I’m eager to speak with you about some of the innovative partnerships you’ve forged, as well as the research papers you’ve published.

Though the relationship between Turkmenistan and Canada remains modest, there is room for growth based on resource development and trade. Canada remains committed to supporting peace and sustainable institutions, as well as greater prosperity for your people and the region. Your presence is a strong signal of our countries’ willingness to reinforce our working relationship.

Ambassador Lucas, you have taken on many roles in your career, and I’m pleased that you will be assuming responsibilities here in Canada. The breadth of your experience will allow you to focus on some of the important areas of our relationship, such as science, technology and innovation. As well, I hope that you will speak with as many Canadians as you can—you’ll certainly find them eager for dialogue!

Luxembourg and Canada have a long and friendly relationship, dating back to the Second World War when your country’s royal family sought refuge here. Today, we are partnering in a number of ways, including in NATO and La Francophonie. For more than 70 years, we have maintained a strong and dynamic working relationship, including in trade and investment. In fact, by the end of 2015, Luxembourg was the third largest source of foreign direct investment in Canada, valued at more than $60 billion. I have no doubt that we will continue to find new avenues of co-operation as we look to the future.

To all of you, I congratulate you on your new role and welcome you to Canada.

Thank you.