President Ali keen on advancing relations with Spain and the Netherlands

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President Dr Irfaan Ali has expressed his intention to advance Guyana’s bilateral relations with Spain and the Netherlands after accrediting new ambassadors from the two European nations on Tuesday.

The formal ceremonies took place at the Office of the President, with the Non-Resident Spanish Ambassador, Fernando Nogales Alvarez, followed by the Non-Resident Dutch Ambassador, Henk Ary Christian van der Zwan presenting their Letters of Credence to the Guyanese Head of State.

President Ali congratulated both men on their appointments, welcomed them to Guyana, and related that the occasion reinforces the desire of Guyana and Spain and Guyana and the Netherlands to strengthen their bilateral relations.

The President also offered his best wishes to the respective leaders of both nations.

Speaking to Ambassador van der Zwan, President Ali noted that Guyana’s development agenda is multifaceted and encompasses clear policies in areas of climate change, oil and gas, agriculture, health and security, which the Netherlands also prioritises.

He said that these areas will help to create a more active programme of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.  The Netherlands’ strides towards climate mitigation, specifically as it relates to a long-term strategy on climate change aimed at building a better future for the European country, was also applauded.

The Head of State commended the nation’s leadership in “efficient and sustainable agriculture management” and reminded the ambassador that the agriculture sector remains a key area of development for Guyana.  With this in mind, he said he hopes it will form part of the priority area on the two countries’ bilateral agenda.

President Ali also assured Ambassador van der Zwan that an air services agreement to see flights directly between Guyana and other Dutch nations will be completed.

“I further wish to assure you that the experience of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Dutch engineering in water management and sea defence are, of course, a known fact to us, and we are looking forward to furthering collaboration and strengthening of partnership in these areas.”

MUTUAL VALUES AND PRINCIPLES

Speaking to Alvarez, President Ali underscored that Guyana and Spain share relations that are built on mutual values and principles that have shaped the two nations into what they are today. These values, he said, will be an impetus to promote greater cooperation and interaction between the two countries.

President Ali recalled contributions from Spain to the development agenda of Guyana, such as the hinterland Rice and Bean Project, which allowed Guyana to advance its agricultural policy agenda in the hinterland region.

“The Kingdom of Spain prides itself on the principles of equality and inclusiveness.  This has increasingly been shown through your responses to the global challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on vulnerable nations.”

The President said that Spain’s contribution of vaccines to nations, including Guyana, is in accordance with Guyana’s view of vaccination diplomacy. He also noted that Guyana has recognised Spain’s particular interest in the CARICOM region through the Spain/CARICOM cooperation mechanism and continues to advocate for closer collaboration between the European country and CARICOM to forge a stronger connection.

“Guyana commits itself to revitalising relations with Spain, and your accreditation will continue to deepen the relations between our two countries.  We look forward to the increased cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including agriculture, climate change, technology, tourism and investment.   I am mindful that strengthening this bond of friendship will produce fruitful dialogue and collaboration that will be beneficial to our two countries.” (Office of the President press release)

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