Top left: Ambassador Bernardita Catalla during the ceremonial walk in Baabda Palace, for the presentation of credentials to Lebanese President Michel Aoun. Top right: Ambassador Catalla presents her credentials to Lebanese President Michel Aoun. Bottom: Ambassador Catalla (left) and President Aoun (right) discuss Philippines-Lebanon ties after the Ambassador’s presentation of credentials.

10 January 2018 BEIRUT – Philippine Ambassador Bernardita L. Catalla presented her credentials to Lebanese President Michel Aoun at the Baabda Palace on January 04.

Upon her arrival at the Baabda Palace, Ambassador Catalla was welcomed by ceremonial honor guards while a military band played the national anthems of the Philippines and Lebanon. She was escorted to the Ceremonials Hall where President Michel Aoun waited with Foreign Minister GebranBassil and Secretary General Hani Chemaitelly.

After handing over her letter of credence to President Michel Aoun as well as the recall letter of former Philippine Ambassador to Lebanon Leah Ruiz, Ambassador Catalla conveyed the best wishes and New Year’s greetings of President Rodrigo Duterte to President Aoun. She thanked him for the hosting of about 30,000 Filipinos in Lebanon and assured him of her mission to further enhance the bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Ambassador said that she aims to strengthen people-to-people ties through cultural activities and to actively promote trade. In turn, President Aoun expressed his appreciation for the presence of Filipino workers in Lebanon and assured Ambassador Catalla of their good working conditions and welfare. He also wished her a successful tour of duty.

A day before her presentation of credentials, Ambassador Catalla met with Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and expressed her desire to expand the bilateral relations between the Philippines and Lebanon, particularly in the areas of trade and culture. Minister Gebran added that the two countries can also support each other’s multilateral advocacies.  He also expressed his desire to see an increase of trade between the two countries. END