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السفارة اللبنانية في كانبرا احيت الذكرى ال 74 للاستقلال

| 13.12,17. 05:05 AM |



السفارة اللبنانية في كانبرا احيت الذكرى ال 74 للاستقلال



سعادة سفير لبنان في استراليا ونيوزيلندا ميلاد رعد


جانب من الحضور



اقامت السفارة  اللبنانية في استراليا حفل استقبال كبير في ذكرى عيد ال 74 للاستقلال في "قاعة البرت" في العاصمة كانبرا،وذلك مساء الثلاثاء 13/12/2017،حضره سفراء وقناصل وجنرالات من الملحقيات العسكرية وشخصيات دبلوماسية عربية واجنبية، وحشود كبيرة من مختلف الاديان والاطياف والتيارات السياسية والفكرية والاجتماعية، وشخصيات علمانية واكاديمية واقتصادية ، وعدد كبير من رجال الاعمال والاعلام، بالاضافة الى شخصيات عربية واجنبية  يتقدمهم مدير المراسم في وزارة الخارجية الاسترالية السيد فيليب ستون هاوس الذي تبادل شرب نَخبي الملكة ولبنان مع السفير رعد.
قدمت المناسبة فيفيان داوود.


كلمة سعادة السفير ميلاد رعد
Speech of Milad Raad, Ambassador of Lebanon, at the Reception for the 74th anniversary of the independence of Lebanon
Albert Hall, Canberra, 12/12/2017

Mr. Phillip Stonehouse, Deputy Chief of Protocol at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Distinguished friends from the diplomatic corps, the Australian Government, the Lebanese-Australian and other communities,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
مَسا الخير
Good evening,

“There’s no where you can be, that isn’t where you’re meant to be” – a quote from John Lennon.
“We are continually shaped by the forces of coincidence” – a quote from Paul Auster.
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” – a quote from Paolo Cuelho.

Whether we name it destiny, coincidence, choice, free will, or a mix of that, it was certainly something fortunate that brought me and my family to this great country in the recent past, for a couple of years in which I had been Chargé d’Affaires a.i. at the Embassy of Lebanon in Canberra.  And it was something even more fortunate that again got us back here a few weeks ago.


I had the honour to present to H.E., General Sir Peter Cosgrove, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, my letters of Credence on the 23rd of last month.  And only a month before that, Lebanon was privileged with an official visit by H.E. the Governor-General.
This leads me to saying that the last five years had witnessed growing activity of bilateral visits between Lebanon and Australia, at various levels, among them a presidential visit from Lebanon to Australia in 2012, a visit by Her Excellency the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2014, a visit by H.E. the Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants in March this year, followed a month later by the visit of H.E. the Australian Minister of Justice.  Naturally, a major part of my Embassy’s plan of action for the years to come aims at pushing forward Lebanese-Australian relations in existing domains, and exploring new possibilities for cooperation and partnership.

Lebanon and Australia do have special ties, a prime component of which is the large Lebanese-Australian community, and that is reflected in the high number of missions that Lebanon has in Australia, namely the Embassy in Canberra, two Consulates General in Sydney and Melbourne, and two Honourary Consulates in Adelaide and Brisbane.  And Lebanon wishes to have more honourary consulates established in Australia in the near future.

Speaking of the people-to-people bond between Lebanon and Australia, one of the beautiful manifestations of that was seen very recently in Australia, as the Lebanese national Rugby team had the chance to participate and compete in a tournament thanks to many great Lebanese-Australian players who formed part of Lebanon’s team.


In fact, the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, recognizing the importance of active engagement with the overseas global Lebanese community, started in 2014 organizing a yearly conference, taking place in Lebanon, called the Lebanese Diaspora Energy – LDE – … we have just watched a video on the 4th edition of that conference.  The 5th LDE conference will be held in Lebanon during May next year; the are some publications relevant to that event, available at the entrance of this hall; I encourage members of the community to take a look at that and register to take part in the conference if they meet the eligibility requirements for participation.

Moreover, being aware of the necessity to reach out to the Lebanese in the world, my Ministry initiated, a couple of years ago, an overseas regional version of the Lebanese Diaspora Energy conference, so far having been held in Africa, North America and Latin America.  And I have the pleasure to announce that LDE Oceania is scheduled to take place in Sydney during March next year.

Please allow me to make a brief reference to two matters that constitute a new and important part of the Lebanese Government’s engagement with the diaspora.
One is the right given to the Lebanese emigrants to vote in the parliamentary elections while they live abroad, and elect members of the Lebanese parliament.  The registration process was completed three weeks ago, resulting in having over 90 thousands registered worldwide, and it was exciting that the highest percentage of those registered came from the community in Australia.


The other matter is the right given to members of the diaspora to claim Lebanese citizenship (between brackets, I have to say, it is understood that this issue cannot be of interest to members of, or candidates for the Australian federal parliament).  In this regard, one of the banners here is about what we call “Lebanity”, having Lebanese ancestry and claiming Lebanese citizenship.


Distinguished friends,
Lebanon has been facing and coping with many challenges, among which is:
-  The liberation of still-occupied parts of its territory;
-  The crisis in Syria and its impact on Lebanon; I sincerely hope and pray that the plight of our Syrian brothers and sisters come to an end very soon.
-  Counter-terrorism.  …Here you find a banner about support for the Lebanese Army, also indeed for the Lebanese security agencies, as all of them have been heroically and successfully engaged in a fierce fight against terrorists, and in that sense have been at the forefront of the global war against terrorism.

In all that, and more, Lebanon needs continued and increased support by its friends and the international community.

Before ending my speech, I do not want to miss the opportunity to express strong support for the great Palestinian people in its righteous struggle for the sake of Al-Quds (Jerusalem).


Last, but not least, my thanks go for some wonderful people whose support and understanding were essential for organizing this reception:
Samar, Dama, Abdallah, Kim
Mohammad and Ahmad
Nakhle and family
Moustafa
My wife and children:  Roula, Kris, Chloé and Alex

And warm thanks for all of you who honoured me with your presence, especially those who have travelled inter-state.

Thank you for your attention.
Enjoy.


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