CEBU CITY -- Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Tuesday told ambassadors from seven countries their visit to Cebu was a “tremendous” vote of confidence for the province.

The seven foreign envoys, who paid a courtesy call on the governor Tuesday, said they appreciated the Cebuanos for their good command of the English language, she said.

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She added they are looking into the possibility of having sisterhood ties with provinces in their countries that have common areas of interest with Cebu.

The ambassadors arrived last Sunday to attend a business forum organized in time for the celebration of Mandaue City's 41st Charter Day.

She added the hostage-taking incident in Manila that resulted in the deaths of Hong Kong tourists was never mentioned in their discussion.

"You know very well that they are diplomats and they know how to conduct themselves and they know what particular issues may be discussed.

But their presence here speaks more than a thousand words about their great confidence in Cebu regardless of the hostage incident," the governor added.

Those who visited her were ambassadors from Cambodia, Hos Serythonh with Chan Sinhean; from Indonesia, Kristiarto Legowo with Caecilia

Legowo; from Pakistan, Mohsin Razi with son Haidir Razi; from Vietnam, Deputy Head of Mission Pham Hao; from Venezuela, Charge d' Affaires Manuel Perez Iturbe with Silvia Gonzalez Loero; from Sri Lanka, Nawalage Bennet Cooray with L. D. Jayawathie; and from Iraq, Wadee Al-Batti with Nadia Matti Azaha and son Leon.

The ambassador of the Republic of Angola, Flavio Fonseca, in a separate courtesy call on Garcia Tuesday, said the recent hostage-taking incident in Manila does not affect his impression of Cebu, saying it could happen anywhere in the world.

He added the Philippines is very secure and safe.

Fonseca was accompanied by University of Cebu chancellor Candice Gotianuy.

Gotianuy said they are working on a memorandum of agreement where the government of Angola will be sending scholars to their university.

Garcia said Fonseca responded to possible sisterhood ties between a province in Angola and Cebu.

The governor also said Iraq’s envoy was enthusiastic about setting up ties with Cebu.

Garcia added Iraq is having a construction boom as the war begins to wind down and the country is looking at rebuilding structures.

She said they have also discussed the travel ban on overseas Filipino workers to Iraq. She added they are both hopeful that it will be lifted soon.

But the ambassador said the ban is not reciprocal, so their nationals can come to Cebu. (RSA of Sun.Star Cebu)