We are pleased to have you here tonight at King’s House for this State Dinner in honour of President Kikwete (\ki-‘kew-tai\) and Her Excellency Salma Kikwete. President Kikwete, your visit is particularly significant to me as you are the first Head of State to visit Jamaica since my inauguration as Governor-General of Jamaica in February of this year.
Today represents a significant milestone in the development of diplomatic relations between the United Republic of Tanzania and Jamaica. Jamaica and Tanzania have enjoyed a long and close relationship, due largely to the ties that were formed between the leaders of our two countries in the years following their independence in the 1960s. Many persons still have memories of the visit of your late President Julius Nyerere (\ni-‘rer-e\) to Jamaica in 1974.
Over the years, both our countries have maintained contact through international organisations including the Non-Aligned Movement, the Commonwealth, and the Association of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP Group). On Monday, we further strengthened these ties when High Commissioner Biswari presented his Letters of Credence. And earlier this evening, I was delighted to present you with the Insignia of your membership in the eminent Jamaican Order of Excellence.
We hope that you enjoyed your visit to various sites in the country and trust that the North Coast was especially refreshing and entertaining. Do keep those memories to remind you that your brothers and sisters on this side of the Atlantic still wish to stay in close connection with our family in Africa.
Jamaica appreciates the friendship and solidarity displayed by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and we look forward to the further deepening of our ties in every sphere of cooperation and collaboration in the years ahead. I therefore consider this visit an opportunity to renew the bonds of friendship and fraternity that exist between our countries.
Ladies and gentlemen, I now invite you to join me in raising your glasses in a toast to the health and prosperity of President Kikwete, First Lady Salma Kikwete, and the Government and People of the United Republic of Tanzania.