Presentation of Letters of Credence (State of Israel, Kingdom of Morocco)
Rideau Hall, Monday, December 12, 2016
I’d like to welcome both of you to Rideau Hall and to Canada!
What you do is so important. Even in an age of instant, global communication, there’s no substitute for meeting face-to-face like this.
You’re both here to represent your respective countries and peoples, and your objectives in Canada are many. You will be searching for new opportunities to work together with Canadians. And you will be sharing your perspectives and stories with us.
Ambassador Barkan, you have served your country admirably in so many ways. In addition to your extensive diplomatic experience, you have also been committed to students as an educator. As a former educator, this is a commitment you and I share, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts concerning our countries’ many educational partnerships. And no doubt there are so many Canadians across the country who are eager to engage with you and learn more about Israel’s innovative and dynamic people.
Just last month, I undertook a State visit to Israel, the very first by a Canadian governor general. I was honoured to do so. There were so many opportunities to highlight our robust and friendly relationship, which is based on shared values, common interests and strong economic, cultural and social ties. I was also struck by how much potential there was for further partnerships to complement our already impressive collaboration.
I hope that while here, you will find new ways to enhance our relationship, particularly in the realm of innovation, education, science, technology and trade.
Ambassador Aouad, as a career diplomat, you know very well the importance of dialogue between nations. As such, I know you have many ideas of how to strengthen the relationship between our nations. I also know you will take your new assignment as a great opportunity to meet with Canadians and to share your ideas with them. I also encourage you to travel this vast country and to find new sectors with which to collaborate.
Canada and Morocco are working together on many fronts, including security, the environment and trade. We also have excellent bilateral, social and cultural relations, thanks in part to the 100 000 Canadians of Moroccan origin—the largest North African community in Canada.
We are also pleased to support young Moroccans in your country through development programs and to welcome nearly 3 000 Moroccans who come to Canada to study each year. Many more opportunities exist for us to co-operate in such fields as aerospace, education, mining and infrastructure. I hope that your presence in Canada will allow us to pursue initiatives that promote the sharing of knowledge between our peoples.
Once again, let me welcome both of you to Canada. I wish you the very best as you join our vibrant diplomatic community.