Duterte virtually receives envoysâ credentials
President Duterte virtually received the credentials of ambassadors from the seven countries through video-conferencing, in compliance with the measures against COVID-19.
Presidential Photo/King Rodriguez

Duterte virtually receives envoys’ credentials

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 4, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte welcomed last Wednesday at Malacañang the new ambassadors of Chile, Egypt, Finland, Hungary, India, Pakistan and Russia and affirmed the country’s ties with them.

Duterte virtually received the credentials of ambassadors from the seven countries through video-conferencing, in compliance with the measures against COVID-19.

He cited Manila’s longstanding ties with New Delhi as he accepted the credentials of Ambassador Shambu Kumaran, saying the Philippines is committed to further enhance cooperation with India in defense, security, trade and investments, and in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kumaran conveyed the warm greetings of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and assured Duterte that his country is looking forward to having the opportunity to work towards a COVID-19 vaccine.

Duterte also welcomed Chilean Ambassador Claudio Rojas and expressed hope that the Philippines and Chile would further enhance their cooperation in trade and investments, disaster risk management, agriculture, geothermal energy, tourism, and culture. He thanked the Chilean government for the hospitality it extended to Filipinos and for helping repatriate stranded Filipino seafarers.

Rojas noted that the Philippines is the first Southeast Asian country to have diplomatic ties with Chile. He also cited the Philippines’ support for Chile in its membership bid in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and as a development partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The Chief Executive, meanwhile, highlighted the strong momentum of high-level exchanges between the Philippines and Hungary when he accepted the credentials of Ambassador Titanilla Tóth.

He cited the recent visit of Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjartó to Manila in October and the Philippines’ hosting of the second meeting of the Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation this week. He also thanked Hungary for supporting the Philippines in multilateral fora in line with its government’s policy of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries.

Tóth assured Duterte that Hungary is “a stable and reliable partner” of the Philippines in Europe.

Duterte described Russia as “a good friend and partner” when he accepted the credentials of Ambassador Marat Pavlov. He thanked Russia for its offer to supply Sputnik-5 vaccines and to share its technology on vaccine production.

The Philippine leader also reiterated his invitation for Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the Philippines “as soon as circumstances will allow.”

Pavlov said Russia and the Philippines should work together to implement launched projects, sign new agreements and enhance interaction in international fora to mark the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. He also reiterated that collaboration on the possible distribution and production of Sputnik-V in the Philippines would greatly contribute to the growth of bilateral ties.

In welcoming Ambassador Imtiaz Ahmad Kazi, Duterte expressed the Philippines’ aim to expand military-to-military exchanges and sharing of intelligence and best practices with Pakistan.

He recalled his visit aboard Pakistani Navy Ship PNS Saif in 2017.

Kazi praised Duterte for his “consistent endeavors” to restore peace and stability in Mindanao and for his efforts to address the challenges brought about by the pandemic. He said his country seeks to further deepen its political, economic, educational, cultural, and people-to-people ties with the Philippines.

Duterte also welcomed Finland’s decision to reopen its embassy in Manila as he received the credentials of Ambassador Juha Markus Pyykkö, expressing hope that the Philippines and Finland would boost their ties especially in information and communications technology, renewable energy, and clean technology.

He thanked Finland for its support to the government’s peace processes throughout the years.

Pyykkö said Finland wants to increase interactions with the Philippines in the areas of waste-to-energy technologies, renewable energy and the circular economy, digitalization, health technologies and education.

Duterte also welcomed Egyptian Ambassador Ahmed Shehabeldin and expressed the Philippines’ interest to work with Egypt in the areas of trade, agriculture, culture and security. He thanked the Egyptian government for the kind treatment it extended to more than 5,000 Filipinos in Egypt.

Shehabeldin vowed to explore all avenues for cooperation and open a new chapter in Philippines-Egypt relations as the two countries mark the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year.

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