New envoy introduced on Russia Day

Ambassador-designate Danila V. Ganich, DCM Vladimir L. Berezyuk and Federal Minister Omar Ayub Khan cut a cake during a ceremony on Russia Day in Islamabad.
Ambassador-designate Danila V. Ganich, DCM Vladimir L. Berezyuk and Federal Minister Omar Ayub Khan cut a cake during a ceremony on Russia Day in Islamabad.

Ambassador-designate Danila V. Ganich was introduced at the Russia Day celebrations in Islamabad on June 12 by Deputy Chief of Mission Vladimir L. Berweyuk.

The chief guest at the event was Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan, and the event was attended by foreign envoys and other dignitaries including dean of the diplomatic corps, Turkmen ambassador Atajan Movlamov.

Other ambassadors of Central Asian countries, members of the Commonwealth of Independent States formed in 1991 by Russia and post-Soviet republics in Eurasia, were also present.

Russia Day, also called the ‘Day of Adoption of State Sovereignty’ has been celebrated on June 12 every year since 1992 to mark the new constitution of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, or the Russian Federation.

It is a public holiday and has gained the role of Russia’s national day along with the Day of the Fatherland celebrated on Feb 23.

A group of Pakistani guests remarked that the food was delicious, noting in particular the Russian meat and fish dishes, and an elegant display of colourful vegetables and meat in aspic, a savoury jelly.


African Day Festival held

Schoolchildren perform at the African Day Festival in Islamabad.
Schoolchildren perform at the African Day Festival in Islamabad.

The African Heads of Missions accredited to Pakistan hosted a grand African Day Festival, welcoming hundreds of guests to celebrate the founding of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963, which became the African Union. The event showcased African cultural diversity and the progress the continent has made.

Ambassador of Tunisia Adel Elarbi, who is also the dean of the African Group, welcomed guests and said: “We intend to celebrate Africa Day but also address some issues of the African Union. This evening we are celebrating the 56th anniversary of the day to commemorate the birth of African Unity, and we wanted this festival to show the colours and diversity of the African continent.”

He also thanked President Dr Arif Alvi for his congratulations on Africa Day, saying: “This reflects the special attention given by Pakistan to Africa.”

Along with stalls featuring national cuisine and crafts from each of the African countries, the festival also included a Palestinian stall. Ambassador Elarbi said: “You have noticed that there is a Palestinian stall here among the African stands. This is our way to express our solidarity with our Palestinian brothers.”

Federal minister Sahibzada Mahboob Sultan was invited as the chief guest.

Ambassador of Egypt Ahmed Fadel Yacoub also spoke on the occasion, as Egypt holds the chairmanship of the African Union this year. He reaffirmed that Africa is open to all forms of international cooperation with all the members of the international community and Pakistan is welcomed.


Italy celebrates national day

Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo, Mrs. Pontecorvo and the embassy staff welcome guests at the Italian National Day celebrations in Islamabad.
Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo, Mrs. Pontecorvo and the embassy staff welcome guests at the Italian National Day celebrations in Islamabad.

Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo and his wife Lidia Rivera Pontecorvo welcomed guests to a festive celebration of the Italian National Day in Islamabad, a week after the actual date of June 2.

The day marks the new Italy after World War II when a referendum was held and Italy became a republic in 1947 – the same year that Pakistan was born, the ambassador said.

Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan was invited to the event as chief guest.

In his speech, Mr Pontecorvo underlined cordial relations with Pakistan. He thanked private sector companies for sponsoring the event and setting up information stalls.

He said that trade growth with Italy is expected as well as other EU countries, and he said that Pakistanis working in Italy contribute to his country’s development. Members of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry also attended the reception.

Guests were entertained by Italian musician Martina Naso, who goes by the name Mysic Flame, while models showcased the latest Italian dress designs.

An exhibition of Venetian masks and jewelry by Maria Paola Ranfi was popular as well.

Italian dishes from different parts of Italy were served, and an Italian chef prepared dishes to taste on the spot.

Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2019

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