Zuma welcomes new ambassadors

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma has accepted diplomatic credentials from seven new ambassadors and high commissioners during a ceremony at his official office at Tuynhuys.

Zuma welcomed the ambassadors and high commissioners from Sri Lanka, Ecuador, the Ivory Coast, Mongolia, Latvia, Ghana and the Seychelles with individual ceremonies for each.

He then sat down and was able to enjoy a cup of tea with each.

Speaking while accepting the letters of credence from the Ambassador of the Ivory Coast, Zogoe Herve-Brice, Zuma said the South African government was looking forward to a successful election in the fellow African country this year.

He hoped the election would bring peace to the West African country, following hostilities in 2002.

Turning to soccer, Zuma said he was aware that Ivory Coast had a strong team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. "Our hope is that this cup will never leave the continent," said Zuma.

High Commissioner of Sri Lanka D Wijesinghe said his country was more known for its cricket than its soccer abilities, to which Zuma joked that South Africa would help his country's soccer team become as good as Bafana Bafana.

Zuma welcomed the recent end to hostilities between Tamil Tigers and the government in Sri Lanka and encouraged Sri Lankans to sit down when they shared different views on issues.

"We are therefore hopeful that this pace will last, for this is what we need in the world," he said.