Ottawa Citizen

AMBASSADOR THRILLED TO BE BACK IN CANADA

- JENNIFER CAMPBELL

Although it’s his first official posting here, Peruvian Ambassador Jorge Castañeda is now living in Canada for the second time.

The career diplomat arrived this summer to take up his third ambassador­ial post, after Poland and Thailand. He spent a couple of years in Canada in the 90s when his former wife was posted here. Because spouses couldn’t both work at embassies, he took a leave and studied at Carleton University, ultimately completing his master’s in internatio­nal relations.

Now he’s back, this time as the boss, and he has a number of priorities for what will most likely be a five-year posting.

“My first priority is to try to arrange a friendship framework, similar to the one that was signed with Chile in 2007,” Mr. Castañeda said. “It should be an umbrella that takes in different fields of bilateral relations.”

Mr. Castañeda points out that Prime Minister

Stephen Harper

is going on an official visit to Peru in November and figures it’s a good opportunit­y to sign such a document. He also hopes his president will come to Ottawa on an official visit during his posting.

First and foremost, the ambassador will be responsibl­e for helping implement the free trade agreement between Canada and Peru, which comes into effect Jan. 1. “I want to try to diversify Canadian investment in Peru because now it’s mainly focused on mining and oil and gas exploratio­n but there’s a lot of room for other types of investment including infrastruc­ture, forestry and fishery.”

Under the Initiative for the Integratio­n of Regional Infrastruc­ture in South America, there’s plenty of opportunit­y including building roads, airports and establishi­ng telecommun­ications networks, he said.

Mr. Castañeda noted that Peru’s inflation rate is one of the lowest on the continent while its economy is healthy with $30 million U.S. in reserves. Further, its trade with China is growing. After the U.S., China and the EU are tied as Peru’s second biggest trading partners while Canada is low on the list, accounting for only five per cent of its trade. That’s something Mr. Castañeda hopes will change.

The ambassador is pleased to be back in Ottawa, which he calls “a nice, safe city.” His wife, who is still working in Peru with the ministry of labour, will join him in the fall.

NATO’S NEWEST

Albania and Croatia are another step closer to joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organizati­on after both countries signed protocols last week to open the way for accession in 2009. Albanian Ambassador

Besnik Konci

was pleased with the developmen­t, which he called “a good first step.” He expects NATO membership to give his country more stability, security, and more guaranteed investment­s. “Being liberated means not just meeting the institutio­nal, legislativ­e and economic reforms, but also more responsibi­lity,” he said, and added that joining NATO will help Albania in its ultimate goal of joining the European Union.

Croatia, meanwhile, shares that goal. “We have two strategic goals: NATO and EU membership,” said Croatian Ambassador

Vesela Mrden Korac yesterday from Zagreb.

Now both countries just have to wait until all NATO members ratify the protocol. They expect that to happen and for their membership­s to become official by next spring.

CANADIAN APPOINTMEN­TS

Summer is the time for new diplomatic postings and Foreign Affairs Minister

David Emerson

announced a slew of them last week.

Anna Biolik becomes ambassador to Mongolia; am-

Peter M. Boehm, bassador to Germany;

David Fransen,

consul general to Los Angeles; and am-

John Gero, bassador and permanent representa­tive to the World Trade Organizati­on in Geneva.

Reid Henry

becomes ambassador to Kuwait and Qatar;

Deanna Horton,

ambassador to Vietnam;

Patricia Langan-Torell, ambassador to Panama; Charles Larabie,

consul general to Rio de Janeiro;

Anne Leahy,

ambassador to the Holy See; ambas-

Richard Lecoq, sador to Peru;

Peter Lundy, ambassador to Denmark; and John Morrison,

ambassador to Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. Meanwhile,

Martial Pagé

becomes ambassador to Lebanon; am-

Gilles Rivard, bassador to Haiti;

Jules Savaria,

ambassador to Burkina Faso; high

David Sevigny, commission­er to Singapore; Doreen Steidle,

consul general to Hong Kong and Macao.

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