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 (Libya, Jordan, Uruguay, Eritrea)

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Friday, October 29, 2010


It gives me great pleasure to welcome you, your spouses, your children and members of your embassies to Rideau Hall. Please know that you are always welcome here.

During my mandate and throughout your time in Canada, I want to focus on open, honest and ongoing discussions with you. Dialogue has become increasingly important in today’s interconnected world. We live in a world where people, ideas and resources move around the globe at lightning speed; where a natural disaster, an economic crisis or a new disease quickly affects not only the country in which it originated, but the entire planet.

There are a number of ways in which we can work together to address the potential impacts of climate change, economic uncertainty and security threats. Let’s make the most of each others’ knowledge and share expertise to find solutions.

Technology may have connected continents, but we are now faced with a greater challenge—connecting cultures. We must find ways to live side by side, all across the globe, to build a sense of community, and, especially, to strive for peace in every region of the world.

You will have many opportunities to experience the Canadian way of life. I have always been, and continue to be, an ardent believer in the power of international education—that global experience that helps young students forge new friendships and brings the world’s citizens together. I know that Canadians will learn a lot from you. And we will return the favour. You will no doubt be won over by our warmth, our friendly demeanour and our eagerness to build bridges.

Ambassador Abututa, Canada places great importance on its relationship with the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. I am delighted that education is a key issue in our bilateral relations. Canada is proud to welcome a growing number of Libyan students to its universities.

Our two countries also enjoy strong, close trade relations. We hope to strengthen our economic relationship and further discuss important issues and areas of common interest.

Excellency, I am pleased to welcome you for two reasons. First, I am very interested in the legal reforms currently taking place in your country, reforms in which you played a direct role. And second, I have learned that you are a serious jogger, a passion I also share.

Ambassador Zoubi, welcome back! You already experienced Canada from 1999 to 2003, as deputy head of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan mission, so you are familiar with our way of life. You have even completed graduate level economic course work at Carleton University. So you know that we eat beaver tails and that there are two kinds of senators here in Ottawa: those who play hockey and those who don’t!

Excellency, Canada values Jordan as a country with a positive influence on issues in the Middle East. We have strengthened our bilateral relations to clearly demonstrate our support for your ongoing, constructive efforts to bring peace to the region and to move forward with economic and political reforms. Canada is also proud to support Jordan in its efforts to modernize its education system, which I also applaud.

Ambassador Rosselli Frieri, Canada and Uruguay enjoy a close relationship as like-minded partners. In the context of the Government of Canada’s engagement in the Americas, we value this long-standing relationship as a means of promoting and advancing our shared values and objectives in the hemisphere. I am certain that the open communication between our two countries will continue to be invaluable in this respect. Our co-operation in Haiti is one such example.

Excellency, you don’t seem to mind that our winters can be much longer than our summers. This will be your second time serving as Uruguay’s Ambassador to Canada, having formerly held the position from 1993 to 1998. Welcome back to Ottawa! Welcome also to the members of your family, including your grandson, Kieran, who is here along with your daughter Alexandra.

Ambassador Ghebremariam, you now represent Eritrea on both sides of the 49th parallel. As you have been the Eritrean Ambassador to the United States of America since 2006, and have served as director general of the Department of the Americas and International Organizations at the Eritrean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I am confident that we Canadians will benefit greatly from your vast knowledge of our continent.

Canada was encouraged by the June 22, 2010, UN report on Eritrean compliance with respect to resolution 1907, a report in which the Secretary General noted that Eritrea “has recently taken a number of steps towards constructive engagement with its neighbours.” Rest assured that Canada follows and supports the peaceful resolution of the Ethiopia–Eritrea and Djibouti–Eritrea border disputes, in accordance with the requirements of the UN Security Council.

Excellencies, Canada is committed to working with all of you to create partnerships that will bring prosperity to our respective populations. I look forward to working with all of you as we develop mutual understanding and respect in a world so desperately in need of both.

Welcome to Canada, your home away from home for the next few years!

Thank you!