BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
EUROPEAN Union (EU) Ambassador to Solomon Islands and Vanuatu His Excellency Leonidas Tezapsidis was farewelled on Monday at the Mendana Hotel.
Hosting a luncheon for him was the Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination (MDPAC).
MDPAC’s Minister Jeremiah Manele during his farewell speech reminded ministers and everyone attending that they are farewelling one of the most dynamic diplomats and development partners that the government and the country has been privileged to have worked and associated with.
“You know how at all times you have given your best to the people of Solomon Islands,” said Manele to His Excellency Leonidas Tezapsidis.
“Your services, dedication and commitment make us feel we cannot thank you enough.
“We look forward to working closely with your successor under the Fiji mission although you will not be here physically with your Office presence, but we hope that we will utilise your services at the Fiji Office much more effectively as we hope to improve on that as a government.”
Tezapsidis came to Solomon Islands during 2014.
He has played a great deal in bringing to new heights the excellent relations and the increase of assistance that Solomon Islands has enjoyed according Manele.
“Among many notable achievements made by Ambassador Leonidas during his term with us and one of the most significant if I may mention was the political dialogue in 2016,” said MDPAC’s Minister.
He said this includes furthering good relations with the EU, deciding of the 11th National Indicative Programme to Solomon Islands in 2015, the constant encouragement and guidance to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade as well as the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in addressing the illegal unreported and unregulated fishing that enhanced the removal of the Yellow Card to Solomon Islands fisheries industry which is very important.
This includes a number of projects being funded during under his tenure.
Tezapsidis during his farewell remarks reminded that the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is just next door and this will resolve many of the problems practically all that the country will be facing.
He admitted yesterday that he had gained much more out of this country for the past four years than what he would like to give for various reasons.