Letters of credence were presented by Abdul Qayum Kuchi (Islamic Republic of Afghanistan), Vardan Toganyan (Republic of Armenia), Jean-Arthur Regibeau (Kingdom of Belgium), Rene Coto Sounon (Republic of Benin), Antonio Luis Espinola Salgado (Federative Republic of Brazil), Rodrigo Nieto Maturana (Republic of Chile), Arturo Fournier Facio (Republic of Costa Rica), Ghisela Atalida Godinez Sazo (Republic of Guatemala), Haydar Mansour Hadi (Republic of Iraq), Gary Koren (State of Israel), Imangali Tasmagambetov (Republic of Kazakhstan), Rishi Ram Ghimire (Federative Democratic Republic of Nepal), Luis Benjamin Chimoy Arteaga (Republic of Peru), Fahad Mohamed Abdullah al-Attiyah (State of Qatar), Abdul Salam Diallo (Republic of Senegal), Yves Rossier (Swiss Confederation), Mohammed Al-Shikhi (Republic of Tunisia), and Huseyin Lazip Dirioz (Republic of Turkey).
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to welcome you to the Kremlin for this presentation of letters of credence.
Present here today are representatives of 18 countries in different parts of the world, each with its own national interests, history, and vision of the world order today. Let me stress that Russia has always respected this.
In our efforts to advance our own foreign policy priorities and approaches, we always try to listen to our partners, hear what they are saying, take their views and opinions into account, and work patiently to find compromise solutions.
Russia does not divide its partners into big and small. Every country has its own value in our eyes, and with every country we are ready to pursue an equal dialogue and build cooperation on a constructive basis of mutual respect.
This includes our cooperation on strengthening international stability and security, resolving complex global issues, settling regional conflicts, and addressing dangerous threats, of which international terrorism is certainly the greatest.
Russia opposes attempts to destabilise and weaken international relations, as this could lead to a chaotic and ever less controllable slide towards greater tension in the world.
We support joint action to ensure a democratic and fair world order based on strict respect for the norms of international law, the United Nations Charter, recognition of the unquestionable value of cultural and civilizational diversity, national sovereignty, and the right of all countries to decide their futures freely, without external pressure.
The international situation does indeed require improvement. This calls for restraint, wisdom and responsibility. I would like to reiterate that Russia supports joint efforts to resolve the real problems facing the entire international community today. Ladies and gentlemen, in representing your countries here in Russia, I hope that you will do all you can to develop our bilateral and multilateral cooperation in a spirit of partnership, equality and mutual understanding.
Russia is known for its hospitality and for its openness and sincerity towards its partners and towards those who come here to visit or to work. Let me assure you that you, as your countries’ ambassadors, will receive due respect and attention. We are ready to provide all the necessary conditions for your work and life away from home.
You can count on the support of our officials, agencies, business community, and the general public. No one will try to avoid or shun you, fearing for their reputations or careers. Russia is a free, open and self-respecting country, and this means that you will have every opportunity to establish contacts of all kinds, as this is an essential part of the normal work of all diplomatic missions, ambassadors, and diplomats in general.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In keeping with tradition, I would like to say a few words about our relations with each of your countries.
Our cooperation with Guatemala is not so intensive or diverse, but we seek to develop our ties, establish a constructive political dialogue, and work together on expanding mutually advantageous trade. We see that the Guatemalan government shares this desire and we are therefore certain that our cooperation has a good future.
The Republic of Senegal plays a constructive role in resolving problems on the African continent, particularly in its capacity as the country presiding over the New Partnership for Africa programme. We seek to intensify our bilateral cooperation in energy, fishing and other areas. Senegal is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council this year, and we will therefore continue our close cooperation within the UN.
Brazil is Russia’s important strategic partner in Latin America. Our countries have a good level of cooperation in trade and the economy, science and technology, and the humanitarian sphere. We work closely within the BRICS group and the G20. We look forward to President Michel Temer’s visit to Russia this summer.
Our relations with the Kingdom of Belgium go back a long way. This year, we mark the 165th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. We would like to develop our bilateral cooperation more actively, to reinvigorate our trade and investment, carry out new joint projects in energy, industry and construction, and deepen our interregional cooperation.
Our multifaceted cooperation with the Republic of Costa Rica in trade and the economy, education and culture continues its steady development. Our foreign ministries have regular contacts. I am certain that if we work together, we can continue developing our relations.
Our relations with Turkey are steadily returning to normal, to the benefit of both countries. President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Russia on March 10 for what was a very productive meeting of the High-Level Bilateral Cooperation Council, which gave particular attention to carrying out big energy projects such as construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and the Akkuyu nuclear power plant. We outlined further plans regarding the fight against terrorism in Syria and a political solution to the conflict there. Energetic efforts by Russia and Turkey were very instrumental in bringing about a ceasefire between the Syrian government forces and the armed opposition. We know the role Turkey played in this and value it highly. This made it possible to organise the peace negotiations on Syria in Astana.
We value our all-round cooperation with the Republic of Peru. Peru is one of our traditional partners in Latin America. I had substantive talks with President of Peru Pedro Pablo Kuczynski at the APEC forum last year, and we both expressed our desire to broaden our trade and investment ties, military-technical cooperation, and relations in other areas. It is important now to translate the results of these talks into action.
Mutual understanding, goodwill and a similarity in approaches to current international issues characterise Russia’s relations with Nepal. It is good to see that the constructive nature of our ties does not depend on global political considerations of the moment. This enables us to work together with success on our bilateral agenda and pursue fruitful cooperation within the UN and other organisations.
Russia continues providing assistance to our neighbour and partner Afghanistan in its efforts to reach national conciliation and establish itself as a peaceful, independent, stable and economically independent country, free of terrorism and drugs. We will continue enhancing our ties in various areas and helping to develop Afghanistan’s human resource capacity.
We see good prospects for broadening our mutually advantageous cooperation with Iraq in different areas, including the energy sector. We support the Iraqi authorities in their efforts to counter international terrorism and extremism, and we support Iraq’s continued unity and territorial integrity, taking into account the interests of all ethnic and religious groups.
Our relations with Israel are genuinely intensive and multifaceted in nature. I have met with Prime Minister Netanyahu three times over the recent months. We recently held very constructive and substantive talks in Moscow. I hope that the agreements reached then will enable us to further develop our cooperation in trade and the economy, agriculture, and advanced technology. As you may know, we agreed to continue our useful dialogue on regional and global issues, in the interests of reaching fair, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.
We attach great importance to developing our cooperation with Tunisia in trade and the economy, the military-technical and humanitarian areas. We support the Tunisian people’s desire to live in peace and security and will do all we can to support the Tunisian government in the fight against terrorism.
Russia’s cooperation with the Republic of Benin is also friendly in nature. We seek to develop our ties in a wide range of areas, including coordination in resolving current regional problems. We note Benin’s active position on efforts to prevent radicalism and extremism in Western Africa.
We have mutually advantageous financial and investment ties with the State of Qatar, and we pursue a dialogue on important issues on the regional agenda, including the fight against terrorism and settling conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the situation on the global hydrocarbons market. We value the level of trust we have achieved with the Qatari government. There are also useful contacts between the organising committees preparing the football World Cup events that will take place in Russia and in Qatar.
Our cooperation with the Swiss Confederation has been traditionally built on the principles of mutual respect and consideration for each other’s views. We value greatly your country’s neutral status and its authority as an unbiased mediator in the search for solutions to international conflicts and disputes.
We are satisfied with the nature of our friendly ties with the Republic of Chile. We have established a partnership within the UN, APEC and other international organisations. We are developing our economic, trade and investment ties on a mutually advantageous basis.
Kazakhstan is our reliable friend and strategic ally. My recent talks with President Nursultan Nazarbayev reaffirmed our mutual desire to develop our cooperation in different areas on the basis of our Agreement on Good-Neighbourliness and Alliance in the 21st Century. We work together actively within the CIS, the Eurasian Economic Union, CSTO, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. We highly value President Nazarbayev’s leading role in the integration process underway in the post-Soviet area. In June, Russia will take part in the EXPO 2017 International Exhibition, and we look forward to hosting our Kazakhstani partners in Chelyabinsk in autumn for the traditional annual Interregional Cooperation Forum. We value greatly Kazakhstan’s contribution to organising and hosting the negotiations on Syria in Astana.
We share centuries-old ties of friendship and mutual understanding with Armenia. President Serzh Sargsyan’s visit yesterday once again showed that Russia and Armenia are reliable allies, supporting each other and working together to further the Eurasian integration process. Our countries are successfully developing their cooperation in the economy, trade, investment, and the military-technical sector. We are broadening our contacts in tourism, culture, science and education. Our countries’ regions are developing close cooperation ties. Russia is ready to act as a mediator and make every effort to help resolve regional conflicts.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In conclusion, I sincerely want to wish you every success in your responsible work. I hope that your work and stay in Russia will leave with good and pleasant impressions.
Thank you very much for your attention.