H.E. Ambassador Raul S. Hernandez giving his acceptance his at the turnover ceremony of the ASEAN Ankara Committee Heads of Missions.

Philippine Embassy, Ankara, Turkey—H.E. Raul S. Hernandez, Philippine Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, assumed chairmanship of the ASEAN Ankara Committee Heads of Missions (AAC HOMs) for the second half of 2020 from H.E. Lalu Muhamad Iqbal, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Turkey, who completed his chairmanship of the AAC on 30 June 2020, in a turnover ceremony at the Indonesian Embassy in Ankara. Ambassador Hernandez congratulated Ambassador Iqbal for successfully carrying out scheduled AAC activities in the first half of 2020 despite limitations arising from the coronavirus pandemic.



Ambassador Hernandez receives the ASEAN Flag from H.E. Lalu Muhamad Iqbal, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Turkey in a symbolic gesture.

Ambassador Hernandez expressed his gratitude to the eight resident AAC HOMs (Ambassadors, CDAs), who in a meeting in April, unanimously agreed that Ambassador Hernandez, the most senior diplomat of the group, is best-positioned to take over chairmanship of the AAC and carry out activities in the second half of the year, given the time needed for the next-in-line chairman, incoming ambassador from Cambodia, to prepare himself for the task.

Ambassador Hernandez informed the HOMs of his plans to mount several activities during his tenure to further raise the profile of ASEAN in Turkey while mindful of the present and projected COVID-19 situation for the rest of the year. These include the ASEAN flag-raising ceremony, ASEAN Family Day, a visit to the newly-opened Presidential Library for a book donation, an economic seminar in Turkey’s commercial center, Istanbul, and a visit to one of Turkey’s cities for political and economic engagements with local government officials.

The AAC was established in January 2009 with the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam as the first five members. Over the years, it has grown to include Singapore, Brunei and Cambodia. The AAC has collectively worked together to promote ASEAN’s political and economic interests by forging sustainable partnerhips with Turkish government agencies, local government units, business entities, NGOs and the academe. It has also endeavored to bring the concept of ASEAN to the consciousness of Turkish society by embarking on promotional events that showcase each ASEAN member countries’ various cultures, arts and cuisines. END



The eight ASEAN Ankara Committee Heads of Missions pose for a family photo.