Presentation of Letters of Credence (Spain, Panama, Norway, Mauritania, Ethiopia)

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La Citadelle, Friday, September 21, 2012


First, allow me to extend to you a heartfelt welcome to Canada and to the Citadelle, for this presentation of credentials.

I think that it is fitting that we are here at the Citadelle, because this place has such a long and storied diplomatic history, where countries have gathered to discuss vital issues.

It was here, for example, that the Quebec Conference took place in 1943. Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and William Lyon Mackenzie King came here to discuss tactics and strategy for what would be the beginning of the end of the Second World War.

Today, there is such an abundance of opportunity for all of us in our globalized world. And this is essentially what you are here to explore: opportunity.

I hope that diplomacy—consisting of mutual respect and understanding, and of the promotion of common values and people-to-people links—will continue as you assume your new roles.

Ambassador Gómez-Múgica Sanz, you have visited and lived in many countries throughout your career. I hope that Canada will rank as a particularly memorable time in your life.

Canada and Spain have so much to learn from one another. That is why many of our learning institutions have partnered to share knowledge. The youth of our two countries have also certainly benefited from our close relationship. Young people are able to easily access jobs and education across borders, cementing our already robust relations for the next generation.

Ambassador Corona, I certainly hope that you and your family enjoy your stay in Canada. As a career diplomat, and as someone who has travelled around the world, you know how important diplomacy can be. Already, you have been a great help to our country over the years, working closely with Canada during your other postings. I have no doubt that Panama and Canada’s relationship will strengthen while you are here, and I look forward to discussing with you areas of mutual interest.

Ambassador Brøther, we are delighted to have you with us here today. You have already visited this country on more than one occasion, and I know your experience will serve you well. I hope that you will be able to see even more of Canada, particularly of our North. As Arctic nations, Canada and Norway have a vested interest in the North. You will no doubt find many similarities, as well as many differences, between our two countries. We have so much we can learn from each other, but let us begin by simply welcoming you and your family to Canada.

Ambassador Ould Teguedi, I hope that you will also have the chance to visit Canada’s many diverse communities. Mauritania and Canada have a number of economic and investment links, and I am certain that you will be able to explore even more opportunities during your time as ambassador. I also hope that our two countries can further our education ties; our universities are wonderful places to share ideas that can benefit all of us.

Ambassador Girma, although you will not be living in Canada, I hope that you and your family will take the opportunity to travel across this great nation. I am confident that, in addition to learning more about our country, you will discover new ways in which Ethiopia and Canada can work together. Our relationship is strengthening, and will continue to do so throughout your time as ambassador. I look forward to talking with you about our history and our shared interests.

Friendships need to be nurtured and cared for. That is why it is so important that you are here and that we celebrate your arrival. 

The Citadelle—solid, dependable and constant—stands as a symbol of our diplomatic relations. Once again, I urge all of you to travel across this nation and discover the warmth of Canadians. Together, we can achieve the smarter, more caring world to which we all aspire.

Thank you and welcome.