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Botswana and Russia extol virtue of diplomacy

Botswana and Russia extol virtue of diplomacy

Botswana Guardian

13/02/2020

Preparations for the Golden Jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Botswana and the Russian Federation on March 6th are ongoing.

Speaking during Russia’s Diplomacy Day, February 7, 2020 at the residence of the Russian Ambassador to Botswana Victor Sibilev in Gaborone, Acting Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Kagiso Mmusi - who stood in for Dr Unity Dow, the substantial foreign minister who was attending the 36th Summit of the Ordinary Session of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - said Botswana was looking forward to celebrating this “momentous occasion”.

Botswana and Russia, he said, continue to forge “good relations” through cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, education, health and various multilateral fora. Mmusi, who is substantial minister for defense, justice and security paid tribute to diplomats and their trade for enhancing cordial relations between nation states.

He said modern diplomacy was “sophisticated and versitile” in approach to global challenges of economic, social and political spheres - which challenges, he said, require immense “international collaboration”, political will, skill and dialogue in the search for lasting solutions. For his part, Ambassador Sibilev, who is also the Dean of Diplomats, reiterated last year’s visit to Russia and participation in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum by minister Dow where she met Russia’s foreign minister S. Lavrov at its sidelines,, which meeting culminated in the signing on June 6th 2019 of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Exemption of the Visa Requirements for the Nationals of the Russian Federation and the Nationals of the Republic of Botswana.

The Russia envoy said minister Lavrov noted that this agreement is of paramount importance for expanding business trips and touristic exchanges as well as contacts from people to people.

The Russian envoy said that in 2019 Russia continued to make significant contribution to Botswana human resources development in different areas such as mining, engineering, medicine, IT, law enforcement and others.

He explained that around 60 students went for studying at Russian Universities on scholarships of the Russian Government and on contract basis.

Several police officers also conducted short term advanced training courses and got full education.

He said the Gaborone embassy also endeavoured to give young politicians and diplomats the chance to establish contacts with their Russian partners under the New Generation programme.