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first_imgWelcome all to this the celebration of the birthday of our Queen, Elizabeth II.This is a day of several celebrations. I wish a happy celebration of Eid al-Fitr to all our Muslim friends present. Eid Mubarak!Today also marks the start of the FIFA World Cup and I congratulate my Russian colleague on his country’s victory against the Saudi Arabian team this afternoon.As you well know, the Leopards of the DRC will not be present in Russia. But we, the Lions of England, will be there on Monday next week, to avenge you against Tunisia. So I ask all Congolese present to support us!Just like the World Cup, we have our sponsors this evening. I would like to thank them all: our Gold Sponsors – Vodacom and Randgold; our Silver Sponsors – Vlisco; and our Bronze Sponsors – Diageo and G4S. All these businesses have strong links with the UK and contribute considerably to the prosperity of the DRC. I would like you to join me in expressing our gratitude to them by our applause.This year marks 129 years out of 180 years that we have celebrated having a female Head of State. Queen Elizabeth is the most remarkable of leaders. During her long reign, she has seen the pendulum of history swing on many issues.For example, the young like me can only remember dreadful English football teams. But after 65 years on the throne, the Queen can remember handing the World Cup to a world-beating England football team in 1966.The pendulum swings and I am happy to predict that she will see us bring the World Cup home again in four weeks time.More seriously, she has viewed the construction of the Berlin Wall and its falling. She has seen the creation of the EU, seen the UK vote to enter and, 45 years later, seen us vote to leave it. She has endured through all these important moments of our lives. Some have suggested that celebrating her lengthy reign sets a bad precedent for others. Or even a justification for Presidents for life. However the reality is that she has diligently upheld the UK’s constitutional arrangements: never stepping over the mark, always conscious of the limits and the responsibilities of her role, carrying out her duties tirelessly.She has known 13 Prime Ministers, from Winston Churchill, to Theresa May. Each time our government has changed, she has overseen a peaceful and orderly transfer of power. One of these Prime Ministers, Harold MacMillan, visited Africa in 1960. He spoke of the ‘winds of change’ that were sweeping through the African continent. He made clear that Britain would not stand in the way of its colonies seeking their independence.58 years later, it seems a new wind of change is sweeping through Africa. Many nations are rapidly growing in prosperity. Alongside this growing prosperity there is much political change. Many nations are enjoying the benefits of peaceful political transitions. In the last 12 months we have seen peaceful transfers of power in South Africa, Botswana and Angola.There is change in my own country, too. In 2016 the British people voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. So this is the last QBP that we shall host as a member state of the EU. The referendum was hard fought and the result, whilst clear, was close. Many families, including my own, were split. But politicians and civil servants in the UK are united in agreeing that it is imperative that we respect the will of people and implement their decision.Our departure from the EU brings new opportunities in our relations with Africa. We will be reinforcing every Embassy in Africa as we look outwards as a Global Britain.Once the United Kingdom has left the European Union, it is likely we will be free to sign new trade deals with African nations. It’s our intention to maintain or increase market access for African nations. I look forward to seeing more Congolese products on the shelves of Tesco and Sainsburys.After Brexit, we’ll continue our development policy and a foreign policy which supports the battle against poverty and instability. I’m very proud that the UK is the only country in the OECD that spends 0.7% of GNI on overseas aid and 2.0% on defence and security. As a consequence, across our bilateral and multilateral contributions, we spend over $1.4m a day in DRC on securing its stability and in helping ordinary people’s lives.What our Department for International Development do here under the UKAid banner is remarkable. DRC is home one of DFID’s largest development programmes in Africa. We are particularly proud to be the second largest donor to the humanitarian effort in DRC. Faced with recurrent humanitarian crises, we have provided food, shelter and security to 2.5m people between 2012 and 2017. We will support 3m more people over the next five years, helping to save thousands of lives, even before our recent efforts to support the response to Ebola.We are not just a humanitarian donor. We work across the whole country to help guarantee services in the fields of health, water, sanitation and education. We also support the private sector, notably in the markets for coffee, cocoa and renewable energy. If you have the time, don’t hesitate to pass by ‘Elan’s’ stand here in the garden. Between now and 2020 we will aid more than a million poor people to gain a proper living through supporting entrepreneurs and small producers. Respectful of the sovereignty of Congo, we also have programmes supporting the democratic process here in DRC, including the current elections.Let me be entirely clear: the UK does not support any political party in Congo or any potential candidate in the different votes. It belongs to the Congolese people to give their choice in line with their constitution in a manner that is fair, equitable and credible: and that thereafter their choice be respected by all Congolese. We salute the progress realised to date in the electoral process by all the different political actors, including the electoral commission. We stand ready to offer help should it be required – including through our positive response to analyse the ‘voting machines’ that CENI hopes to use. Sometimes, independent technical advice can help bring confidence and consensus.Since its publication, the published timetable has followed its course, despite some challenges. We therefore look forward to 19 January next year when President Kabila will be the first President in Congo’s history to peacefully hand power to a democratically elected successor. It will be one of the President’s historical legacies.Alas, some dreams for 2018 may not come true. We diplomats have to be realistic and manage expectations. Just like the Congolese must wait till Qatar 2022 to qualify again for the FIFA World Cup, so I think it will take until 2022 before England’s football team lift the Jules Rimet trophy again. In my dreams it is Congo’s new President (he or she) who will be there at the end of the tournament, applauding the DRC Leopards in their first ever World Cup final, even though they were defeated by their friendly adversaries, the Lions of England.Before I ask Madam Mabunda to raise a glass to her Majesty the Queen and the British people, I would ask you to join me in raising a toast to the President and the People of the Democratic Republic of Congo.last_img read more

first_img The nine-year-old is attempting to become the first horse since Golden Miller in the 1930s to win the same event at the Cheltenham Festival five times when she lines up for the David Nicholson OLBG Mares’ Hurdle. Quevega galloped with another long-term absentee, Fiveforthree, and two other stablemates. Mullins said: “We just brought them for a day out really. The intention was to just canter round for one circuit as they will work again during the week. They’ve been off the course for a long time so we just did it to knock the fizz out of them really, Fiveforthree certainly was fresh.” Press Association Willie Mullins declared himself “very happy” with Quevega after the history-seeking mare made a gentle appearance after racing at Leopardstown.center_img He added: “I was very happy with them but there was nothing informative, all it told us was that they are alive and kicking. “Katie Walsh rode Quevega because she rides her at home and Davy Condon rode Fiveforthree. I had been looking at the World Hurdle for him again but I’m considering the Coral Cup also.” Dessie Hughes also took a few to the gallop, although there were far less in action than in previous years. However, Hughes’ big Triumph Hurdle hope Our Conor had a spin, along with Posiden Sea (Bumper) and Minsk. “I was very pleased with all three of them,” said Hughes. “Posiden Sea won a bumper at Clonmel well and was then second to a nice horse here in December. Minsk seemed to really love the better ground and Our Conor was great, I couldn’t be more pleased with him. “He looked very strong and came up between horses and seems in good nick. Most of the work has now been done with them, it’s just a case of freshening them up now.” last_img read more

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 27, 2019 at 2:23 pm Contact Eric: [email protected] The Orange had chances. Several clears, better defensive pressure and three quality shots gave the Orange hope of clawing back from a 2-0 deficit in the second half. Then the ball came off Louisville player Emina Ekic’s foot and sailed tightly into the top left corner of the net in the 76th minute, erasing any SU optimism.Despite Syracuse’s adjustments, the comeback wasn’t coming. No. 22 Louisville (8-1-0, 1-0-0) secured the win 3-0, the sixth time the Orange (2-5-2, 0-1-1 Atlantic Coast) have been shut out this season.“It came down to a lack of heart from us,” senior defender Taylor Bennett said. “We need to really take a gut check and really fix ourselves first before we look at the outside opposition.”Head coach Nicky Adams said she was surprised at how little energy her team came out with. They were outshot 10-3 in the first half.While Syracuse couldn’t put away chances in the second half, Louisville struggled to find the same footing it had in the first. Adams said she game-planned for the Cardinals’ high-pressure attack, but SU wasn’t able to execute in the first half.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“At halftime we said we have to be more direct but keep our team shape more compact so when we do go direct we have numbers around the ball that can help us attack,” Adams said. “And I do think we started the second half better.”Louisville only outshot the Orange 6-3 after the break. But while the Orange were able to do a better job beating the press defensively, the offense still couldn’t click. In the 46th minute, a through ball to an open Meghan Root got just ahead of her and was cleared by Louisville keeper Gabby Kouzelos before Root could get a touch. Shannon Aviza had Gianna Villoresi wide open on the attacking side in the 52nd minute, but her pass was just too far and once again first reached by Louisville. SU got more hesitant.As Kailee Coonan regained possession and brought the ball up midfield, the wings on both sides were ready to break loose. “Play it!” Adams yelled. But the Cardinal defenders caught on and forced a short pass before stealing possession.The biggest opportunity came off a Syracuse corner kick, but Allen knocked it high and left of the goal.“I mean we had one-on-one opportunities with the goalie,” Allen said. “We could have been three-all, we could have gone to overtime. The reason that Louisville won the game is because they took their chances and we didn’t.”Fouls also killed momentum on several occasions for the Orange. In the 49th minute, Kailey Brenner made an explosive move with the ball down the sideline, before committing a foul as Louisville’s final defender closed on her.In the 62nd minute, Syracuse drew a free kick and then immediately a corner. A play that looked to be a good chance in front of the net was blown dead as Villoresi was given a yellow card for her third foul, drawing the ire of Adams and her staff who didn’t understand the call. After being dominated in the first half, Syracuse’s sloppiness in the second cost them the game, even when the door was open to bring the deficit within reach.“We chose to take too many touches when we had the ball and the things we worked on in training the past two games weren’t executed today,” Adams said. “So this is totally on us for not executing a game plan that could set us up for success.” Commentslast_img read more