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New Canadian High Commissioner assumes post

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, April 3, 2008) – Head of State Kalkot Mataskelekele has commended the newly accredited Canadian High Commissioner to Vanuatu, His Excellency Michael Leir,for re-emphasizing the friendly relations of the two countries.

His Excellency made the statement when receiving the Canadian High Commissioner’s credential letters Tuesday this week.

The President also assured Mr Leir of the full cooperation of the Vanuatu Government in furthering the ties between the two countries saying it will not only benefit the two countries alone but also the welfare of the global community.

"Vanuatu and Canada have enjoyed close and friendly relations since 30th July 1980, the day of Vanuatu’s independence. That came about due to Canada’s historical support together with other countries for Vanuatu’s progress towards sovereign status in the United Nations, and our historical sharing of two common international languages, French and English, and their social economic and legal traditions," the Head of State told his Canadian counterpart.

When presenting his credentials His Excellency Mr Leir also highlighted and re-emphasized the relations of the two countries and the institutions that bring the two countries together.

"The Commonwealth and Francophonie are not the only institutions that bring our two counties together. We have an equally robust and expanding relationship through our extensive cooperation at the United Nations which permits our two countries to work together though our extensive cooperation which permits our two countries to work together across the breadth of issues from UN reform to climate change. Canada believes that dialogue is key to identifying areas where we can interact together towards improving the quality of life of our citizens through the promotion of good governance, human rights and democratic and economic development," he said.

Vanuatu has received development assistance from Canada through the years.

Mr Leir assured that the assistance will continue through the Canada fund for local initiatives that offers grassroots help.

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