Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN, received the Letter of Credentials presented by H.E. Mr. Tomáš Smetánka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to ASEAN at the ASEAN Secretariat yesterday.

Dr. Surin extended his warm welcome to Ambassador Smetánka to ASEAN and the ASEAN Secretariat. He also conveyed ASEAN’s appreciation for the support by the European Union, of which the Czech Republic is a member country. Dr. Surin informed Ambassador Smetánka that currently there are 22 Ambassadors from the EU Member States and the Commission accredited to ASEAN and it will bring both closer bilaterally and regionally.

Ambassador Smetánka expressed his appreciation to ASEAN for welcoming his appointment and expressed his commitment to work toward strengthening the relations between ASEAN and the Czech Republic. He said, “The fact that we have EU Ambassadors accredited to ASEAN shows our interest to cooperate with ASEAN in the exchange of information and coordination in the activities of EU towards ASEAN.”

The Secretary-General also encouraged Ambassador Smetánka to hold cultural activities, such as musical performances at the ASEAN Secretariat, to strengthen the relationship between the two sides. He expressed his and the ASEAN Secretariat’s dedication to working closely with him for enhancing further the relationship between ASEAN and the Czech Republic.

Ambassador Smetánka, who is concurrently the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, and Timor-Leste, succeeds the former Czech Ambassador to ASEAN, H.E. Mr. Pavel Rezác.