4 new foreign envoys present credentials to Duterte

Published December 16, 2021, 1:16 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

For the second time in less than two months, President Duterte received the credentials of new ambassadors from multiple countries in a ceremony held in Malacañang.

President Rodrigo Duterte (right) speaks with Nigeria Ambassador to the Philippines Folakemi Ibidunni Akinleye after the latter presented her letter of credence to the President during a courtesy call at Malacañang Palace on Dec. 15, 2021. (Malacañang photo)

Welcomed to the country by Duterte on Wednesday night, Dec. 15 were the envoys from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Ireland, and Romania.

Duterte noted the Philippines’ warm and friendly ties with Nigeria as he accepted the credentials of Folakemi Ibidunni Akinleye as ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Philippines.

The President said he looks forward to an enhanced bilateral cooperation with Nigeria, especially as both countries are set to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic ties next year.

For her part, Akinleye extended the warm greetings of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to President Duterte, noting the Philippines’ status as “a preeminent and strategic corridor in Southeast Asia”.

She vowed to enhance cooperation in the areas of trade, medical exchange programme, information technology, maritime security, education and tourism.

Duterte welcomed F.M. Borhan Uddin as ambassador of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, noting the positive momentum in Philippines-Bangladesh bilateral relations in recent years.

“Your arrival comes at a very auspicious time for next year we will celebrate the golden anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Bangladesh. I hope to see more bilateral exchanges especially as we work towards the full post-pandemic recovery and sustainable growth,” the Filipino leader said.

Uddin conveyed the warmest greetings of President Md. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Duterte. He committed to work towards the enhancement of Bangladesh-Philippines ties, citing trade, pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding, agriculture, information technology (IT) and education as key areas for further collaboration.

Bangladesh Ambassador Borhan Uddin (third from left) presents his letter of credence to President Rodrigo Duterte during a ceremony at Malacañang Palace on Dec. 15, 2021. (Malacañang photo)

The President hailed the opening of the Irish Embassy in Manila this year, saying he looks forward to revitalized economic ties as he welcomed William Carlos as Ireland’s ambassador to the Philippines.

Robust trade and investment relations between the Philippines and Ireland and the larger European community will help the country achieve inclusive recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Duterte reckoned.

President Rodrigo Duterte (center) discusses matters with Bangladesh Ambassador Borhan Uddin after the presentation of the latter’s credentials at Malacañang Palace on Dec. 15, 2021. (Malacañang photo)

The Philippines counts on Ireland’s support for the resumption of negotiations on the Philippines-EU Free Trade Agreement, the President added. Carlos stressed the importance Ireland attaches to building closer ties with countries in the Asia-Pacific, including the Philippines.

Pursuant to Ireland’s Asia-Pacific strategy, the Irish ambassador said he looks forward to further enhancing bilateral engagement, particularly in trade and investment, and cooperation on issues of common interest at the multilateral level.

Carlos also thanked the Philippines for its support for Ireland’s candidacy to the United znations (UN) Security Council and recognized the Filipino diaspora in Ireland, which plays “a very critical and positive role” in the health sector.

Duterte welcomed Raduta Dana Matache as ambassador of Romania to the Philippines, expressing hope that next year’s 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations will serve as a catalyst for the strengthening of bilateral cooperation, especially in the economic sphere, for mutual benefit.

Matache conveyed the good wishes of President Klaus Iohannis to President Duterte. She said that her mandate is to reinvigorate and develop relations in the areas of security, people-to-people contacts, economic exchanges, education, climate change and building resilience and disaster management.

The lady ambassador also stated that Romania wants to be “a friend and a trusted advocate” of the Philippines in the European Union.

Duterte received the credentials of eight new ambassadors during a similar ceremony held last Oct. 20.