Seven newly designated ambassadors to the Philippines presented their credentials to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday with the Philippine leader expressing hope for a stronger cooperation with the countries they represent in areas of trade, education, counter-terrorism and healthcare.
Among those who virtually presented their credentials to the President include Ambassadors Shambhu Santha Kumaran, Republic of India; Claudio Alberto Rojas Rachel, Republic of Chile; Dr. Titanilla Tóth, Hungary; Marat Ignatyevich Pavlov, Russian Federation;
Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad Kazi, Islamic Republic of Pakistan; Juha Markus Pyykkö, Republic of Finland; and Ahmed Shehabeldin Ibrahim Abdullah, Arab Republic of Egypt.
In accepting the letter of credence of Russian Ambassador Marat Ignatyevich Pavlov, President Duterte, speaking from Malago Club House, said the Philippines considers Russia a good friend and partner having strengthened cooperation over the years in defense and security, health, science and technology, and economy.
“We aim for an even more robust and deeper cooperation in the coming years,” he told the Russian envoy. “We thank Russia for its offer to supply Sputnik V and share its technology on vaccine production with the Philippines.”
President Duterte reiterated his invitation for President Vladimir Putin to visit the Philippines, as soon as circumstances will allow, as the two countries mark their 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year.
Responding to the message of Indian Ambassador Shambhu Kumaran, President Duterte said the Indian-Philippine relation was driven by synergies between his administration’s Independent Foreign Policy and India’s Act East Policy.
He said he looks forward this year to honoring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who invited him to visit India, even as they plan for a virtual summit.
“The Philippines is committed to further enhance cooperation with India in defense, security, trade and investments, and in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic,” the President told the Indian ambassador.
Dr. Titanilla Tóth of Hungary said she would exert her efforts to strengthen relations between the Philippines and Hungary and enhance mutual beneficial cooperation in trade, water management, education and cultural activities.
In his response, the President thanked Hungary for supporting the Philippines in the multilateral fora in line with his government’s policy of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries.
He also welcomed Hungary’s financial cooperation proposal to facilitate expanded collaboration on water management and other areas.
At the same time, he expressed his gratitude to Hungary’s scholarship program for Filipino students pursuing advanced degrees noting the endeavor will help foster amity and mutual appreciation between the two countries.
Addressing the Finnish ambassador, President Duterte said the Philippines welcomes Finland’s decision to re-open its embassy in Manila this year.
“We look forward to enhancing our bilateral cooperation on various areas of mutual interest,” he said.
“We are particularly interested in expanding ties, particularly in ICT, renewable energy, and clean technology,” the President added, noting his government appreciates Finland’s support for the peace processes through the years.
Welcoming Pakistan’s ambassador to the Philippines, the President recognized the friendly ties between the Philippines and Pakistan spanning over seven decades.
His government he said is keen on enhancing the two countries’ overall bilateral relationship, particularly in trade and investments.
He also extended an invitation for military-to-military exchanges and sharing of intelligence and best practices, particularly in countering terrorism and violence.
In welcoming the new Chilean ambassador to the Philippines, President Duterte said his government looks forward to further enhancing cooperation with Chile particularly in trade and investments, disaster risk management, agriculture, geothermal energy, tourism, and culture.
He also thanked Chile’s government for the hospitality it extended to Filipinos in the Latin American country and for the assistance in the repatriation of stranded Filipino seafarers during the pandemic.
Chile and the Philippine will celebrate next year 75 years of friendly ties.
The President also welcomed Egypt’s new envoy to the Philippines saying he hopes to further build stronger cooperation with the Arab country in trade, agriculture, and cultural exchanges as well as in security and combatting terrorism and violent extremism. PND