Ambassador-designates from the Kingdom of Norway, Italy, Kingdom of Thailand, and The Swiss Confederation (Switzerland) will visit Rarotonga this week to present their Letters of Credence to King's Representative, His Excellency Sir Tom Marsters, during a ceremony facilitated by Te Kauono Tutara e te Mana Tiaki – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI).
Ambassador-designates include Her Excellency Mrs Anne Grete Riise, Ambassador-designate for the Kingdom of Norway; His Excellency Mr Francesco Calogero, Ambassador-designate for Italy; His Excellency Mr Waravuth Pouapinya, Ambassador-designate for the Kingdom of Thailand; and His Excellency Mr Viktor Vavricka, Ambassador-designate for Switzerland.
Upon presenting their Letters of Credence to King's Representative, His Excellency Sir Tom Marsters, all Ambassador-designates are able to engage officially with representatives of the Cook Islands Government.
During their visit, all four Ambassador-designates will call on Prime Minister the Hon. Mark Brown, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI), and will meet with Acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Amelia Fukofuka-Murare. The Ambassadors will also meet with select government, business, and civil society representatives depending on areas of co-operation interest for the Cook Islands and the counterpart country.
"Since the re-opening of international air borders, we are seeing an increase in international engagements, including inwards visits by diplomatic representatives as we step up our re-engagement with the international community and the rest of the world does the same," said MFAI Director of the International and Trade Division, Mackenzi Wichman.
"Visits such as this allow the Cook Islands to focus co-operation in areas of particular interest for the Cook Islands and other countries with emphasis on initiatives that will support the Cook Islands economic recovery endeavours and can lead to new inwards investment and partnerships."