State House: Three Diplomats present letters of credence to President Paul Biya

Three diplomats accredited to Yaounde have presented the letters of credence to the President of the Republic, Paul Biya during a solemn ceremony at the State House.

The event took place this Wednesday, 20th December 2017. The High Commissioners of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that of Canada as well as the Swiss Ambassador to Cameroon each took turns to present the letters that recall their predecessor and that accrediting them.

I) In successive diplomatic ritual H.E. Lawan Abba Gashagar, the new Nigerian High Commissioner to Cameroon was the first to present his credentials to the Head of State.

He takes over from Hadiza Mustapha. Both officials reviewed bilateral cooperation between Yaoundé and Abuja marked by high level exchanges in the past two years.

President Paul Biya visited Nigeria twice in 2016 while the Nigerian Head of State visited Cameroon in July 2015. Both Cameroon and Nigeria have been working within the Multinational Joint Task Force to fight Boko Haram.

The two countries maintain strong ties in the economic sector, notably in hydrocarbons, commerce as well as the free circulation of nationals across their common borders.

II) On his heels was the new Swiss Ambassador to Cameroon, H.E. Pietro Lazzeri who begins mission as Ambassador to Cameroon. Pietro Lazzeri is former closest collaborator of the Swiss Ambassador to Rome, (May 2013 to July 2017).

He is expected to continue in the footsteps of his predecessor in; -modernising the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC); -the training of Social Affairs workers; -the financing of SEMRY and Ombessa integrated development projects; -renovation of bridge over the Sanaga River; amongst others

III) The Canadian High Commissioner to Cameroon, H.E. Nathalie O’Neil, was the third diplomat to present their letters of credence to the Head of State H.E Paul Biya. Cameroon and Canada share common linguistic specificities with English and French and two official languages.

They are both members of the Commonwealth and la Francophonie; two institutions depicting linguistic and cultural diversity. The resounding diplomatic ties between the two countries were first established in 1962 and since then cooperation ties are palpable in domains of agro-industry, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, mines, mechanical equipment, wood and textiles.

Each of the ceremonies began with military honours highlighted by in-camera discussions on the state of relations with their respectful countries. In Cameroon’s diplomatic calendar, May and December are generally time when Diplomats accredited to the country present their letters of credence and those of recall of their predecessor to the President of the Republic.

It is expected that other diplomats who have not yet performed the ritual will be guests at the State House in the days ahead.

Elvis Teke

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