By Genalyn Kabiling
Germany and Switzerland have offered to continue to support the peace and development of Mindanao, particularly the Bangsamoro autonomous region.
The commitment was separately relayed by new German Ambassador to the Philippines Anke Reiffenstuel and Swiss Ambassador Alain Gaschen to President Duterte in Malacañang Tuesday.
The two diplomats were among the six new ambassadors who presented their credentials to the President. It was the first public engagement of the President at the Palace, ending his weeklong absence since last week.
“We also hope to be able to contribute to the ongoing transition process and stabilisation of all of Mindanao. The progress on the Bangsamoro autonomous region has been encouraging,” Ambassador Reiffenstuel told the President.
“As ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, I am looking forward to contribute to further enhancing these ties in the bast interest of our nations and I hope we will see them flourishing in the coming years,” she said.
The President recognized that the new German ambassador’s deployment to the Philippines would further enhance the “vibrant and vigorous relationship” between the two countries.
She agreed that Germany’s relations with the Philippines are “close and the potential is rich.” “The spectrum covers broad issues, including cooperation in environment, climate related issue, healthcare, culture education a well as bilateral trade, business, and economic cooperation,” she said.
The new Swiss ambassador, meantime, has commended the Philippine government’s achievements in advancing the Bangsamoro peace process. He offered the Swiss confederation’s “whole commitment to further support this process.”
Gaschen also highlighted the “rich and friendly” relations between the Philippines and Switzerland.
He also cited the strong economic and trade relations between the two nations.
“The recently implemented free trade agreement should give fresh impetus to this economic relations. Let me assure from my side, I will do utmost to further strengthen the bilateral relationship that unite our countries and people,” he said.
The four other diplomats who met the President are Ambassador Norman bin Muhamad of Malaysia, Ambassador Irakli Asashvili of Georgia, Ambassador Väino Reinart of Estonia, and Ambassador Grenenger Msulira Banda.