General Michel Aoun, president of the republic, accepted the credentials of four new ambassadors accredited to Lebanon.
There are four ambassadors representing their countries: Kristoffer Magnus VIVIKE of Denmark, Koen VERVACKE of Belgium, Anne MESKANEN of Finland, and Stefanie McCollum of Canada.
The official ceremonies to present the credentials took place, in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah Bou Habib, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Hani Shmaitili, the Director General of Protocols at the Presidency of the Republic, Dr. Nabil Shedid, and the Director of Protocols at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Abeer Ali.
Upon the ambassadors’ arrival, successively, to the presidential palace, the army’s music played the anthem of the country represented by each ambassador, and the flags were raised on the mast of the presidential palace alongside the Lebanese flag.
Then, the ambassador of each country saluted the flag before being accompanied by the Republican Guard Brigade.
Ambassadors then entered the salon of October 22 amid two rows of spears, and from there to the ambassadors’ salon to present his credentials to President Aoun, and to introduce him to the members of the diplomatic mission.
Upon leaving, the army’s music played the Lebanese national anthem.
During the ceremony, the ambassadors conveyed to President Aoun the greetings of their country’s presidents and leaders, and stressed working on everything that would strengthen bilateral relations between their countries and Lebanon.
For his side, the President conveyed his greetings to the ambassadors to the leaders and heads of their countries, stressing in return Lebanon’s keenness to strengthen relations with their friendly countries for the benefit of Lebanon, their countries, their people and the Lebanese.
President Aoun also wished the new ambassadors success in their new duties.
The following is a brief biography of the ambassadors who presented their credentials today:
Danish Ambassador Kristoffer Magnus VIVIKE
-Holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Copenhagen, and a Masters in European Science from the Institute of Economic and Political Science in London.
-Fluctuated in several administrative positions, where he worked between 1999-2001 as an assistant researcher at the Danish Institute of Foreign Affairs.
-Held several positions in Denmark’s foreign ministry, especially in the security department, African affairs, European Union affairs and his country’s representative in NATO.
-Appointed between 2011-2013, as deputy head of his country’s mission in Kabul.
-Appointed between 2016-2021, Director of Consular Affairs and Crisis Management in his country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Appointed between March 2021-September 2021 as the Special Representative of his country in resolving the Syrian crisis.
Belgium Ambassador Koen VERVACKE
-Holds a master’s degree in contemporary history and art history from the University of Louvain.
-Attended courses in international mediation and maintaining security, by the United Nations.
-Holds 30 years of experience in international diplomacy, conflict avoidance, and mediation, as he held several positions in this context within the framework of European and Belgian diplomacy.
-Worked as Director and General Manager for Africa, between 2011-2020, in the European Department of Foreign Affairs.
-Worked on developing and managing strategic partnerships of the European Union with the countries of the Organization of African Unity, and regional organizations in the fields of politics, economic development and security.
-Distinguished, as the first special representative of the European Union to the Organization of African States, for laying the foundations for peace and security, especially in terms of resolving African conflicts.
-Served as Assistant in the European Unit of Mr. Javier Solana, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in Partnership with Mediterranean Countries and Africa
Finnish Ambassador Anne Meskanen:
-Holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Helsinki.
-Worked in the press, before she was appointed attached to the secretariat of the European Relations Department of her country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
– From 1997-2000, she was appointed as a second secretary to the deputy head of her country’s mission in Romania.
-Appointed between 2000-2004 as a consultant to her country’s mission to the United Nations – New York.
-Appointed between 2007-2011, deputy head of her country’s mission in Syria, which covers Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan.
-Appointed between 2015-2017, her country’s ambassador to Kabul.
-Between 2018-2020, she was appointed as an ambassador, Senior Adviser in the Department of Africa and the Middle East, and the Department of Asia and America, affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of her country.
Canadian Ambassador Stefanie McCollum:
-Had a diverse set of management experience gained during 27 years of work in the Ministry of National Defense, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Office of the Minister of State for Public Works and Government Services in Canada, in addition to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency before joining the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2005 .
-Led the management and consular coordination programs in her country’s offices in San Francisco, Cairo, Bucharest and São Paulo.
-Held the position of Director of the Emergency Control and Response Center in charge of providing assistance to citizens who are exposed to problems abroad, in addition to monitoring international events and crises that affect Canada’s interest at the international level, and discussing how to deal with them.
-Appointed Director of the Administration Renewal Project, which aims to support the staff of the Consular Department at the Ministry of World Affairs of Canada.
-In 2018, she was appointed as Canada’s ambassador to Qatar.