President Rodrigo Roa Duterte poses for a photo with Ambassador-Designate of Norway to the Philippines Bjørn Staurset Jahnsen after receiving the latter’s credentials at the Malacañan Palace on September 25, 2018. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MALACAÑANG — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, September 25, received the credentials of Ambassadors-designate of the Kingdom of Norway and the Republic of Belarus to the Philippines in a ceremony held at the Malacanan Palace.

“I welcome you, and we’re happy that you’re here,” President Duterte told the envoy.

First to submit his credentials to the President was Norwegian Ambassador Bjørn Staurset Jahnsen.

He extended to President Duterte the warmest regards of the King of Norway, His Majesty King Harald V. Also, he noted that he is looking forward to strengthening the relationship of Norway and the Philippines, especially that the two nations are celebrating its 70 years of bilateral ties this year.

The Chief Executive then replied, “Your Excellency, I pray that our relationship will last for a thousand years.”

Accompanying the Ambassador were wife Sandra Rojas Gonzalez; Aase Larissa Kosanovic, Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission; Øyvind Lorenzen, First Secretary; Stian Arvid Hegland, Second Secretary; and William Hovland, Attaché.

Before his appointment to Manila, Ambassador Jahnsen worked on the Colombian Peace Process in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo.

His previous diplomatic assignments include Mexico, London, and Madrid. He also served as the Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.

Meanwhile, from the Republic of Belarus, Ambassador Valery Kolesnik also presented his credentials to President Duterte.

“Ambassador, I am happy, in behalf of my country, to accept you as the envoy of your country and I hope that we can work together to expand our bilateral relations,” the President said.

Ambassador Kolesnik reiterated to President Duterte his nation’s commitment to improving the ties between the two governments.

He was accompanied by Anna Marie Ablan, Honorary Consul to Belarus.

The envoy served as the Deputy Director – Head of Department of Foreign Trade Policy, Directorate of Foreign Economic Activity, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The President met with each ambassador after the submission of their respective credentials.###PND

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