At the Mariinsky Palace, Equatorial Guinea Ambassador Fausto Abeso Fuma, Irish Ambassador Donal Hemil, Zambian Ambassador Peter Chintala, Luxemburg Ambassador Marc Courte, Mali Ambassador Brehima Sire Traore and Sri Lanka Ambassador Neville Ranasuriya presented their credentials to President Victor Yushchenko.

In his speech, the Head of State sincerely congratulated the ambassadors on starting their diplomatic mission, the President's press office rreported.

“I regard today’s event to be a beginning of some new phase in relations between Ukraine and each country you are honored to represent,” he said.

Addressing the ambassadors, Yushchenko noted that this period was very important for our country. He stressed that one year ago the citizens of Ukraine had voted for democratic society and Euro-Atlantic integration.

“I am convinced the new Ukrainian government has been successfully implementing these strategic tasks since the Orange Revolution,” he said.

The President added that Ukraine had become an authoritative state whose government functioned transparently. He also stressed that profound economic changes occurred in the country every day and dwelled on privatization and regulatory policy.

Speaking about next year’s parliamentary elections, Yushchenko emphasized: “As President, I assure you these elections will be fair for the first time.”

He noted that no budget funds would be used to finance any political campaigns and said Ukraine was ready to host international observers.

Then he spoke on EU integration. Yushchenko said he found the Ukraine-EU summit, which will be conducted on December 1 in Kyiv, very important.

“We expect this meeting to give a new impetus to the development of our relations with the European Union,” he said.

The Head of State added that he was delighted to receive the ambassadors from Ireland and Luxemburg, the two countries that play a very important role in the EU.

“I am sure your diplomatic activity in Ukraine will help activate our bilateral dialogue and implement our EU intentions, creating necessary conditions for our membership in the Union,” he said.

Yushchenko added that his recent meetings with foreign ministers of the two countries showed that Ukraine could rely on their support.

Addressing the ambassadors from Equatorial Guinea, Zambia, Mali and Sri Lanka, the Head of State noted that Ukraine saw “great perspectives” to enhance our cooperation with these countries. He believes the so-called human factor might help promote this cooperation. Yushchenko said thousands of students from these African countries had once studied in Ukraine, now holding state positions. On the other hand, he added, many Ukrainian professionals made a great contribution to economy and science in several countries of Africa and Asia.

The President stressed that these factors make him optimistically assess our future cooperation. Yushchenko said he hoped the ambassadors would be able to fully appreciate Ukraine’s traditions, culture and economic capabilities.

“We are ready to support and assist you,” he promised.

Then he wished them to successfully perform their diplomatic duties and wished their nations peace and prosperity.


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