The National, Thursday 13th September, 2012
PAPUA New Guinea and Spain’s special historical ties of the past will be the basis on which the two countries will build a stronger relationship, Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio said yesterday.
Accepting the credentials of Spanish envoy, Viguera Enrique, on Tuesday at Government House, Port Moresby, Sir Michael said: “It is my hope and belief that our special historical ties from the distant past over a few hundred years should be the basis on which to build a much stronger relationship between our two countries.
“On behalf of Queen Elizabeth II and the government of PNG, I am pleased to welcome you officially to our country.
“It is an honour for me to accept the letter of credence by his majesty Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, who has appointed you as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the kingdom of Spain to the independent state of PNG.
“In doing so, I accept the letter of recall of your distinguished predecessor, Carlos Sanchez De Boado VDe Valgoma.
“I acknowledge with much interest the colonial history and influence Spain had through its early explorers, especially Inigo Oritz De Retez, and others in forming the early foundations of the naming of PNG and the Pacific Ocean,” Sir Michael said.
He said he noted with interest Spain’s return to the region compelled by globalisation and the increasing perception among Spanish companies of potential business opportunities in PNG, spurred by Spain’s commercial dealings and naval cooperation with the country.
“The government of PNG is appreciative of the European Union cooperation funds that assists PNG and Pacific islands in a range of sectors.
“Please allow me to convey our deep appreciation for Spain’s continuance to provide funding in this regard even when it was going through its own economic crisis.
“On behalf of the government and people of PNG, I wish to convey to the king of Spain Juan Carlos I and his government our sincere wishes for Spain’s speedy economic recovery and prosperity.
“I note Spain’s contribution to assisting the Pacific Islands secretariat through financing multilateral activities.
“The government of PNG welcomes moves by Spain to become a full dialogue partner of the Pacific Islands Forum and for greater participation with Pacific Island countries,” he said.
Sir Michael said Spain and Papua New Guinea shared similar views and values on international politics and global challenges.
“I note with interest Spain’s candidate for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council for the period 2015 and 2016, which will be considered by the government of PNG.