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Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 20, 2019 (SKNIS): Several visiting dignitaries graced the Federation with their presence to be a part of the Independence Day Celebrations to mark St. Kitts and Nevis’ 36th Anniversary of nationhood on September 19.

The visiting dignitaries included Their Excellencies Linda S. Taglialatela, Ambassador of the United States of America; Priyo Iswanto, Ambassador of Indonesia; Marie LeGault, High Commissioner of Canada; Ruben Rahming, High Commissioner of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas; Lumka Yengeni, High Commissioner of South Africa; Dr. K.J. Srinivasa, High Commissioner of the Republic of India and their delegations; Gustavo Martinez Pandiani, Ambassador of the Argentine Republic and Mrs. Martinez; Pertti Ikonen, Ambassador of Finland; Arthur H.W. Williams, High Commissioner of Jamaica; and Anthony Mwaniki Muchiri, High Commissioner of Kenya to St. Kitts and Nevis.

Other foreign dignitaries included Magdy Soliman Martinez, Permanent Representative for United Nations Development Programme and his delegation; Marc Mertillo, Chargé D’affaires of the Embassy of France and Mrs. Mertillo; Honourable Yaser Abdula; Minister Plenipotentiary of the State of Qatar; Ruth Delany, Deputy High Commissioner of New Zealand; Edward Munn, Head of Political and Communications Team, British High Commission; Adhra Almonsoori, Head of the Caribbean Diplomatic Section for the United Arab Emirates (UAE); Luis Mala, First Counsellor of the European Union to CARICOM, and Johnny Hodgson, Delegate of Presidency for Southern Caribbean Autonomous Region of the Republic of Nicaragua.

During the Toast to the Nation, Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris welcomed the dignitaries, and noted his honour to have them celebrate with St. Kitts and Nevis.

“This special moment is being shared with us by a number of allies, friendly, supportive countries. I want to thank all these our friends, the high representatives of their government and wish that they convey to their principal the heartfelt appreciation of the government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis, that they have made a choice to come to show solidarity and support with our nation,” said Prime Minister Harris. “So thank you Excellencies, thank you very much for coming, thank you for your demonstration of solidarity and support. May God bless you and may God bless your people.”

Prime Minister Harris also used the occasion to recognize and thank resident dignitaries.

“All these represent the fine display of international cooperation without which St. Kitts and Nevis would not have made the strides that it has made,” he added.

The Toast followed shortly after the Independence Day Parade held at Warner Park, which allowed citizens and residents to see members of the security forces and other organizations pay tribute to the nation, including the large turnout –more than 700 students – by the Explorers Group.

Prime Minister Harris also thanked the general public for coming out to commemorate St. Kitts and Nevis’ 36 years of Independence.

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