The ceremony was attended by various dignitaries including the paramount chief of the township of Avarua, Vakatini Ariki.
Ambassadors from Italy, Turkey, Samoa and the Republic of Kosovo presented their credentials to Marsters.
On hand to represent the Government were deputy prime minister Teariki Heather and Foreign Affairs secretary Tepaeru Herrmann.
Addressing Marsters, the Ambassador of Italy, Fabrizion Marcelli said he had travelled to Rarotonga to better the already “outstanding” relations between Italy and the Cook Islands.
“I pledge to work to better our already exemplary relations during my stay here” he said.
Marcelli said that exactly 15 years ago Italy and the Cook Islands had established formal diplomatic relations, and he hoped he would aid in the maintenance of a strong relationship.
He added that both nations were partners in their attention to climate change, global warming and renewable energies.
“We have many common objectives, especially the fight against climate change and conservation of the oceans. These are very important to both my country and the Cook Islands.
“I am determined to work together to find solutions to face areas such as these and sustainable growth for the Cook Islands.”
Both Marcelli and Marsters acknowledged the Italian community, which they numbered at less than a dozen. They noted many Italians visit Rarotonga to experience its beauty, referencing the many Italian weddings held on the Island.
Two Italian nationals who work in the Cook Islands were invited to join in the celebrations.
Marcelli was asked how he would spend the remainder of his time in the Cook Islands, he replied that he had planned to spend four years here.
“Hopefully I will be here for 4 years if they don’t kick me out earlier,” he jokingly told the reporter, drawing laughter from the attendees.
Marcelli, a diving enthusiast said he is excited to collect his equipment and tackle the Cook Island water.
Also presenting their credentials at yesterday’s ceremony were Armet Ergin, ambassador of Turkey; Leiataua Dr. Kilifoti Eteuati, ambassador at large for Samoa and Dr Sabri Kicmari, ambassador of Kosovo.
- Shae Osborne/MC