GMA  INVITES  FIRST  FEMALE  U.S.  ENVOY  TO  VISIT  MINDANAO

MANILA,
March 23, 2006 (BULLETIN) By GENALYN D. KABILING - President Arroyo yesterday offered herself as "travel guide" to new United States Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Anne Kenney in Mindanao, who will initially visit Sarangani province soon.

The President said Kenney had expressed interest in visiting Mindanao when she formally welcomed the first female US ambassador to the Philippines in Malacañang.

Kenney, who replaced Ambassador Francis Ricciardone who left the country in May 2005, presented her credentials to the President at the Palace yesterday.

In a televised discussion with senior Palace officials on peace and development projects in Mindanao, the President said she plans to bring the new US ambassador to Glan, Sarangani, one of the best tourism destinations in the country.

Mrs. Arroyo said the new American envoy could also inspect US-funded development projects in Mindanao during her travel to the area.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said they would arrange Kenney’s visit to Mindanao soon and assured her safety.

"It’s safer there than in Manila," Dureza said.

Kenney arrived in Manila on March 17 more than a week after she was sworn in by US State Department Secretary Condoleezza Rice as new US envoy to the Philippines.

"Welcome to the Philippines. We look forward to working with you," President Arroyo told the US ambassador.

Kenney, a senior member of the US foreign service, was the first woman to serve as executive secretary of the US State Department.

She served as US ambassador to the Republic of Ecuador from September 2002 to July 2005.

Kenney’s overseas postings include stints as economic counselor to the US Mission to International Organizations in Geneva, economic officer at the US Embassy in Argentina, and consular officer at the US Embassy in Jamaica.

She is married to William Brownfield, the US ambassador to Venezuela. Printer Friendly Version


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