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British Embassy Opens
Its New Premises in Chisinau

On July 16 th this year the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland officially opened its new premises in the center of Chisinau. His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent who paid a three-day visit to the Republic of Moldova, Vladimir Voronin, President of Moldova, Andrei Stratan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Moldova, Mr. Bernard Whiteside, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Great Britain to Moldova, representatives of diplomatic corps and international organizations accredited in Chisinau as well as some other guests participated in the opening ceremony of the new office of the British Embassy.

The ceremony began with both UK and Moldovan anthems. In addressing Moldovan officials, foreign diplomats, politicians, businessmen and journalists at the opening ceremony, all three speakers HRH Prince Michael of Kent, President Vladimir Voronin and British Ambassador Bernard Whiteside expressed their hope that the opening of the British Embassy in Chisinau would further strengthen the ties between the two nations.

The British Ambassador greeted all the guests and noted that the participation of the Moldovan leader in the opening ceremony reflected the nature and the perspectives of Moldovan-British relations. Referring to the UK diplomatic mission in Moldova, Bernard Whiteside mentioned his certainty that over the coming years the mission will grow and will remain here for many years to come. He added that the central location of the Embassy demonstrates the importance Britain attaches to the relations with Moldova. "The main message of UK presence here is that of closer relations with Moldova, increasingly important as the European Union' border moves closer to this country", Ambassador said.

President Voronin praised the British Foreign Office for its recent decision that the relationship with Moldova should be managed by the EU Directorate, which indicates that Britain recognizes Moldova's European aspirations. Vladimir Voronin estimated that "Moldovan-British relations have been on a constant and progressive development, while the opening of the United Kingdom Embassy in Chisinau will substantially contribute to consolidation and deepening of these relations for the benefit of both countries and peoples."

"The relationships with the U.K. a nation with secular democratic traditions and a major international power represent an important chapter in the foreign policy of our country. The constant and generous support from the British government for Moldova contribute to the development of a democratic state based on the respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the market economy. In this regard, it is significant that the United Kingdom proposed to include Moldova among countries which would benefit from debt forgiveness", Voronin said.

In his turn HRH Prince Michael of Kent expressed his country's interest in deepening of cooperation between Moldova and Great Britain especially in the light of the European Union expansion. He also specified that his visit could contribute to attracting investments in the Moldovan economy. "This opening today marks a further step, cementing that relationship in a new and solid way", the Prince added.

After cutting the ribbon and declaring the Embassy open, His Royal Highness, accompanied by President Voronin, Foreign Affairs Minister Andrei Stratan and Ambassador Whiteside, had the opportunity to look at the new premises, meet a wide range of guests and the Embassy staff. Most of the guests remained outside in the small courtyard and served themselves champaign and juices. Some of them were allowed to enter the embassy to see the rooms.

It should be added that the British Embassy in Chisinau can now accept visa applications. The service is open for Moldovan nationals and foreign nationals with residency in Moldova.

The new British Embassy premises are located at str. Nicolae Iorga 18.

Prepared by Vlada Popushoi

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