Ottawa (April 21st – 2014)
Ambassador Bahah Returns to Ottawa to Bid Farewell
Recently appointed Minister of Oil and Minerals, HE Khaled Bahah took time out of his hectic schedule to pay Ottawa a final visit bidding farewell to colleagues and friends; collecting his family and making his final departure from Canada, thereby concluding his role as Ambassador of the Republic of Yemen to Canada, a position that he held since January, 2009.
His Excellency began his busy week with a visit to Montreal to visit Yemen’s Honorary Consul, Mr. Shirish Suchak. This was followed by a reception for Yemeni community and students at the Embassy in Ottawa, where he was honoured with a video compilation of his accomplishments during his time in Canada. The busy Ottawa schedule also included meetings with many Canadian officials to review cooperative efforts between Yemen and Canada initiated during his five year term and make efforts to continue their development.
Many social events took place, including a large farewell luncheon held by the Department of Foreign Affairs hosted by The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Democratic Reform on behalf of traveling Foreign Minister John Baird. Other guests included the Dean of the Arab Group and Ambassadors from Morocco, UAE and the Palestinian Delegation. In addition, Director of Policy to the Minister, Mr. Shuvaloy Majumdar was joined by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Daniel Jean, and several other high-level colleagues from the Department.
The Council of Arab Ambassadors hosted a remarkable luncheon at “Signatures Cordon Bleu Restaurant”. This presented a special opportunity say good-bye to an exceptional group of colleagues, united by deep-rooted and significant geographical, historical and philosophical bonds.
Other formal dinners were hosted by the Ambassadors of India and Turkey; while Madame Heyam Qirbi brought together a large and diversified group of friends for lunch at Le Café in the National Arts Centre.
Despite the Easter week vacation, His Excellency managed to catch up with several absent yet special friends by telephone, including former Governor General, the Rt Hon Michaelle Jean; and one of Yemen’s best friends the Honourable Noel Kinsella, Speaker of the Canadian Senate. He also spoke with The Minister of Public Safety, The Honourable Stephen Blaney and Member of Parliament Paul Dewar.
Farewells are difficult, but his colleagues are confident that while it may be “good-bye” to the Ambassador; it will only be “au-revoir” to the Minister and look forward to crossing paths again soon and often.