British ambassador moved by welcome


THE NEW British ambassador,Julian King, presented his credentials yesterday to President Mary McAleese at a ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin.

Mr King, a former head of cabinet to trade commissioner Peter Mandelson, said he was “genuinely touched” by the reception afforded to him and his wife Lotte Knudsen since his arrival.

Mr King takes up his position with the possibility that Queen Elizabeth may visit Ireland during his tenure as ambassador.

Mr King told the President that the relations between Ireland and Britain were “grounded in mutual respect with a shared commitment of both governments to build a strong, modern partnership”.

The new ambassador also said that few relationships are as “rich in texture and as deeply rooted” as that between Britain and Ireland.

Mrs McAleese acknowledged that relations between the two countries had not always been neighbourly, but they were now “formidable” and the present generation had crafted a relationship which had led to the Belfast Agreement.

Five other ambassadors presented their credentials to the President. They were Saudi ambassador Abdulaziz Abdulrahman Aldriss, the Lithuanian ambassador Vidmantas Purlys, Peteris Karlis Elferts, the Latvian ambassador, the Finnish ambassador Pertti Majanen and the Slovenian ambassador Jasna Geršak.