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Monaco welcomes four new Ambassadors

Monaco welcomes four new Ambassadors

By Stephanie Horsman - October 15, 2021

Monaco received new Ambassadors on Thursday from the countries of Madagascar, Gabon, Switzerland and Turkey in a luncheon ceremony held at the Hermitage Hotel.

Minister of External Relations and Cooperation Laurent Anselmi welcomed Olivier Rija Rajohnson, Ambassador of the Republic of Madagascar, Liliane Massala, Ambassador of the Gabonese Republic, Roberto Balzaretti, Ambassador of Switzerland and Refik Ali Onaner, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey, on 14th October.

A lunch was served at the Hermitage Hotel after they met with Prince Albert II to present their Letters of Credence, the formal diplomatic letter that designates a diplomat as ambassador to another sovereign state.

Olivier Rija Rajohnson has worked for nearly four decades in the private sector in various fields such as banking, fruit export and tourism. He became Permanent Advisor to the Prime Minister of Madagascar at the end of the 1980s, then he was Minister of Water and Forests from 1997 to 2002. Afterward, he became Chief of Staff to the President from 2011 to 2014. In 2020, he was appointed Ambassador and accredited to France as well as to the Holy See.

Liliane Massala worked for the economic and social development of Gabon by creating in particular the Franco-American Academy of Management, the International Institute of Advanced Education and Training for Training in Digital Professions and the Christine Bahati Foundation for the Well-being, Health and Education of Young People and Women. From 1987 to 2012, she held the positions of Advisor and Deputy Director in the Cabinet of the President of the Gabonese Republic, before being appointed Secretary General of several Ministries from 2012 to 2020. Appointed Ambassador in 2020, she is also Permanent Representative to of the International Organisation of La Francophonie.

Joining the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in 1991, Roberto Balzaretti held several positions there before being appointed Secretary General in 2008 and then Jurisconsult. At the same time, he headed the Swiss Mission to the European Union from 2012 to 2016 and was appointed in 2018 Director of European Affairs and coordinator of all negotiations with the European Union for his country.

Refik Ali Onaner worked in several Turkish Departments and Ministries before taking up the post of Counsellor to the Permanent Delegation of Turkey to the United Nations Office in Geneva from 2006 to 2010. He continued his career at the Turkish Embassy in Paris, again as Counsellor then becoming Minister-Counsellor from 2012 to 2017. He then returned to Turkey and was appointed Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Ankara. Appointed Ambassador in 2019, he was first accredited to Tunisia before coming to Monaco.



Photo by Michael Alessi, Government Communication Department



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