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Daily News


By Lesedi Thatayamodimo

Gaborone – Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Unity Dow has commended the Russian Federation leadership for introducing Diplomacy Day, which presents an opportunity to honour diplomats for the front line roles they perform.

Speaking during the commemoration of the 17th Russian Diplomacy Day in Gaborone on February 8, Dr Dow said the day presented an opportunity to celebrate the devotion and sacrifice of diplomats.

Diplomats, she said, did good work as diplomacy had gone beyond the traditional realms of common bilateral and multilateral relations, to a multifaceted vocation, as they met on different fora to promote interests of the people they represent.

Further, she said it was the duty of diplomats to promote understanding and peace as well as to negotiate on different important issues.

Ms Dow acknowledged diplomats as mediators between the countries they represented, saying they had indeed made the world better for humankind to live in harmony.

She also recognised the long and strong relation Botswana had with Russia, saying the two countries had a robust and strong relationship in the area of tertiary education.

Giving a history on the Russian Diplomacy Day, the Russian Ambassador to Botswana, Mr Victor Sibilev said the day was established by the Presidential Decree in 2001 to commemorate the founding of the Russian Diplomatic Service in 1549 and it was commemorated every year on February 10.

Mr Sibilev explained that the Russian diplomacy pursued an independent multi-directional foreign policy and made efforts to strengthen the positive trends on the international stage.

Also, he said the Federation found collective solutions to the problems all countries were facing, based on international law and ultimately promoted a fairer and more democratic polycentric world order in keeping with objective modern realities.

He further said Russia developed mutual beneficial relations with all interested states and played an active role in the activities of the UN, multilateral organisations and fora, including the G20, BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the OSCE as well as the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

Mr Sibilev mentioned that Foreign minister, Mr Sergey Lavrov in his speech on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2018, noted that last year Russia paid special attention to all key areas and intended to promote the establishment of a truly universal antiterrorist coalition under the auspices of the UN, to mobilise the international community to more effectively combat drug trafficking and other types of organised crimes.

He said the Russian side sought to support positive trends in Syria and on the Korean Peninsula, in other crises and conflicts, especially in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in the Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Mr Sibilev said Africa was an important partner for Russia, an active participant in the emerging polycentric architecture of the world order.

He pointed out that relying on the accumulated experience of productive cooperation; Russian diplomats sought to pursue a consistent policy for deepening relations with Africa, based on the principles of international law, equality and respect for the mutual interests.

Further he mentioned that the Russian Federation attached great importance to strengthening peace and security in the region, which was the most important component in ensuring the sustainable and dynamic development of the African states and maintaining global regional stability.

Mr Sibilev said Russia had maintained regular contacts with most African countries, adding that there was the Moscow and Gaborone cooperation that was aimed at deepening the political dialogue and stepping up mutually beneficial ties in the trade, economic, humanitarian and other spheres, based on the firm foundations of traditional friendship between Russia and Botswana.