Ceremony solidifies Equatorial Guinea’s new relations with Suriname
President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea has been awarded the Medal of Grand Master of the Honorable Order of the Yellow Star and Carrier of the Sign the Great Order by Suriname’s President Désiré Delano Bouterse. The presentation of the medal, which is the nation’s highest award, took place at a ceremony in the Presidential Palace.
President Obiang is the third foreigner to receive the medal. Other foreign recipients include the late queen of the Netherlands, Juliana and the late president of Venezuela, Carlos AndrésPérez. In addition to the medal, Obiang also received a golden “Key of the city of Paramar.” “This means that you can visit here anytime you please,” President Bouterse said.
The presentation of these honors closely followed the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between Suriname and Equatorial Guinea on January 12, 2012. Obiang and Bouterse signed an agreement to strengthen their economic, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation. Equatorial Guinea expressed interest in benefitting from Suriname’s expertise on the eradication of malaria, and Suriname expressed interest in benefitting from Equatorial Guinea’s expertise in the offshore oil industry.
“This accentuates the seriousness of the presidents to start cooperation, to catch up with the time which we have lost,” said Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister Pastor Micha Oude Bilé.
Obiang and Bouterse also announced that the Third Summit of Heads of State for South America-Africa (ASA) will be held next May 15 to 16 in Malabo. Equatorial Guinea was selected to host the summit during the Summit of Heads of State of the African Union, which took place from November 22 to 25, 2011.