President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, received, today at Baabda Palace, the credentials of eight Ambassadors who constitute a new batch of heads of diplomatic missions to Lebanon.

Ambassadors are: Italian Ambassador, Nicoletta Bombardier, US Ambassador, Dorothy Camille Shea, Slovenian Ambassador, Primoz Seligo, Ghanaian Ambassador, Winfred Ni Okai Hammoud, South African Ambassador, Barry Phillip Gilder, Estonian Ambassador, Miko Haljas, Zambian Ambassador, Major General Topply Mulanbo Lubaya, and Burkina Faso Ambassador, Alassane Mone.

A ceremony was held in the presence of Foreign Affairs Minister, Nassif Hitti, General Director of Protocol and Public Relations in the Lebanese Presidency, Dr. Nabil Chedid, Ambassador Hani Shmaitly, and General Director of Protocol at Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mrs. Abeer Ali. Upon the arrival of Ambassadors to the Presidential Palace, accredited ceremonies were performed, and the Lebanese National Anthem was played, in addition to the Anthem of the country which each Ambassador represents, by the Lebanese Army, while flags of each state were also raisedalongside the Lebanese flag.

Afterwards, Ambassadors saluted the flag and were then accompanied by the Republican Guard Brigade, before entering the Ambassadors’ Salon in two rows, where they presented their credentials to President Aoun, and introduced members of their accompanying diplomatic missions.

While Ambassadors were leaving, the Lebanese Army Music played the Lebanese National Anthem. Ambassadors conveyed to President Aoun, the regards of their Presidents, and their wishes for success in his national responsibilities , assuring him of the work to strengthen bilateral relations between Lebanon and their countries.

President Aoun replied by sending regards, and wishing them success in their diplomatic missions.


Italian Ambassador, Nicoletta Bombardiere:

Holds a BA in political science from the University of Florence.

Fluctuated in several positions in her country’s foreign ministry before being appointed consul of Italy in South Africa between 1991 and 1995.

Held the position of first secretary of her country’s permanent mission in Vienna, and worked as a consultant for the General Directorate of Political Affairs in her country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Between 2000 and 2002 she held the position of Head of Section in the General Directorate for Asian and Ukraine Affairs at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Appointed economic advisor to the Italian Embassy in Cairo, and then a senior advisor to the Italian Embassy in London.

Between 2010 and 2013, she held the position of Head of the Specialized Unit for Afghanistan Affairs at the General Directorate of Political and Security Affairs in her country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

From December 24, 2015 until her appointment in Beirut, she held the position of diplomatic advisor to the Italian Ministry of Defense.

US Ambassador, Dorothy Shea:

Graduated from Virginia and Georgetown Universities and has a BA from the National Defense Institute in Washington.

Fluent in Arabic and French and has many articles and publications on the elements of contemporary foreign policy in a changing world.

Held several positions and worked in her country’s embassies in Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.

Held the position of a foreign affairs analyst at the US State Department, and worked for the Bureau of African Affairs in the same ministry.

Held the position of director of the Democracy and Human Rights Division at the National Defense Council in Washington, and prior to her appointment in Beirut, she served as deputy head of the US mission in Egypt.

Slovenian Ambassador, Primoz Seligo:

Graduated from the University of Ljubljana, from which he obtained a master’s degree in international relations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, and a BA in economics from the Faculty of Economics.

Fluctuated in several administrative and diplomatic positions, where he worked in the Economic Affairs Department of his country’s foreign ministry before he was appointed as second secretary at the Slovenian Embassy in Moscow and then as first secretary in Ankara.

Held the position of head of the Eastern European Department at the Foreign Ministry before he was appointed ambassador to Ukraine, and non-resident ambassador to Georgia and Moldova, and then to Armenia.

Held the position of head of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Affairs Department of the Foreign Ministry before he was appointed ambassador to Russia, and a non-resident ambassador to the Republics of Belarus, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic.

Prior to his appointment in Beirut, he held the position of Head of the Public Relations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. – Fluent in English, Russian, Ukrainian, Italian and Arabic.

Ghanaian Ambassador, Winfred Ni Okai Hammond:

Born in 1953

Married with four children.

South African Ambassador, Barry Gilder:

Holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts in writing with distinction.

Held various administrative and diplomatic positions since 1973.

Held the position of Director General of the Internal Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the position of Coordinator of Intelligence Affairs at the Coordination Committee of the National Intelligence Services.

Headed the General Directorate of Operations at the Mapungube Institute in Johannesburg.

Fluent in English, French and Russian.

Estonian Ambassador, Miko Hajlas:

Born in Tallinn, Estonia.

Holds a license from the Tallinn Technical Institute in the field of chemical engineering, a license from the Diplomatic Institute in Estonia, and a license from the Institute of International Relations in the Hague.

Fluctuated in various administrative and political positions, where he worked in the Balkan Countries Division and the United States and Canada Affairs Division at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, before he was appointed a second secretary for political affairs at his country’s embassy in Helsinki and then in the United States of America.

Worked in the Department of Relations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and then as Director of Security Affairs and the Arms Control Section of the Ministry, before he appointed a consultant and Minister Plenipotentiary for his country to Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia.

Appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Minister of Estonia to Turkey and the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Fluent in Estonian, English, Finnish and Russian.

Zambian Ambassador, Major General Topply Lubaya:

Holds a BA from Cambridge University, and holdsdegrees in disaster management and the National Security Affairs Program.

Fluctuated in several administrative positions and underwent training courses, worked in human rights training and peace-keeping.

Worked in international missions of the United Nations to Sudan and Mozambique.

Held several military positions and in various sectors before he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army between 2011 and 2016.

Burkina Faso Ambassador, Alassane Mone:

Holds a diploma in higher military studies from the Institute of Combat in Paris, a master’s in specialized diplomatic education from the Institute of Diplomatic and Strategic Sciences in Paris, and a diploma from the Institute of Higher Military Affairs.

Held various military positions before he was appointed between 2011 and 2017 as Secretary-General of the Ministry of National Defense and military veterans.

Holder of several medals, and followed a number of specialized and high training courses.

Appointed extraordinary ambassador and minister plenipotentiary of his country to the Arab Republic of Egypt, starting from September 27, 2018.

Chinese Ambassador:

President Michel Aoun met the Chinese Ambassador to Lebanon, Wang Qijan, today at the Presidential Palace, who briefed him on latest developments in China on combatting Corona.

Qijan said that the situation in China is now better due to the measures adopted by authorities to restrict this disease and halt its spread, pointing out his country’s readiness to help Lebanon in this process.