H.E. Ambassador Hosts a Dinner Reception for H.E. the First Lady

August 29, 2015:With much excitement and anticipation, the Embassy of Afghanistan had the great honor and pleasure of welcoming Her Excellency Mrs. Rula Ghani, the First Lady of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. H.E. the First Lady was on an official visit to Japan from August 27th to 30th, to attend the World Assembly for Women (WAW / http://www.mofa.go.jp/fp/hr_ha/page22e_000652.html) hosted in Tokyo. H.E. the Ambassador Dr. Sayed Mohammad Amin Fatimie hosted a commemorational reception in honor of her presence at the embassy on Saturday, August 29th.

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The reception was opened by H.E. Ambassador Dr. Fatimie’s remarks that it is the highest honor and privilege to welcome H.E. the First Lady and that he appreciates the continuous generous support of the noble nation of Japan. H.E. Ambassador also stated that the National Unity Government’s leadership has confronted many of the issues that Afghanistan faces, and Afghanistan is moving forward towards peace and prosperity.

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Among the distinguished guests attended, the Honorable Mr. Toru Miki, Member of the House of Councillors, delivered a speech on behalf of the Honorable Mr. Toshihiro Nikai, Member of the House of Representatives, emphasizing the importance of protecting culture and of further strengthening the friendly relationship between Japan and Afghanistan especially in the cultural aspect. As an example of cultural cooperation, the Hon. Mr. Miki referred to the Afghan “Hidden Treasure” exhibition scheduled early next year in Japan.

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It was also a pleasure to have Mr. Tsukasa Uemura, Director-General of Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau and Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, deliver a message. His Excellency Mr. Uemura articulated the pleasure he felt by H.E. the First Lady’s visit to Japan and her attendance at the WAW Conferences. Furthermore, H.E. Mr. Uemura stated that he is looking forward to witnessing an even stronger friendship between Japan and Afghanistan.

Representing all Afghan students studying in Japan, Ms. Shaheem Elahi delivered a speech. She expressed her gratitude to the Japanese government for the scholarship and the opportunity to study in Japan. Ms. Elahi added that upon her return to Afghanistan she hopes to apply the knowledge she gained from studying in Japan to practical use.

At the height of the event, a grand standing ovation from the audience welcomed H.E. the First Lady on to the stage. Her Excellency stated that she had been keen on coming to Japan as this was her first visit, and was also very interested in the topic of the WAW conference, to empower women and seek improvement in women’s social environment. Regarding Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s current policies to achieve the above stated goals, Her Excellency expressed her understanding and support. Her Excellency also gave a special word of encouragement to the Afghan students studying in Japan, saying that “you’ve got your chance, a life time opportunity, so make the best of it.” Finally, H.E. the First Lady expressed her gratitude to the Government of Japan for its generous development assistance over the years, and wished all a success in future endeavors.

Following the heartwarming speech, Afghan cuisine was served by the Embassy, and the guests used the occasion to enjoy the meal and each other’s company, while being honored with the presence of H.E. the First Lady.

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The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Japan was honored and delighted by H.E. the First Lady’s visit to Japan and the fruitful WAW conference, both of which will certainly strengthen the relationship between Afghanistan and Japan. Our Embassy sincerely wishes Her Excellency’s continued success in the mission of empowering women, not only in Afghanistan, but around the world.