ROME, 14th October, 2016 (WAM) — Saqr Nasser Al Raisi, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Italy, on Thursday, attended the 50th anniversary celebrations of the NATO Defence College’s move to Rome and the 65th anniversary of its foundation.

The day began with the arrival of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, followed by the North Atlantic Council (NAC) and the Military committee (MC). The NATO delegation was greeted by the NDC Commandant, Major General Janusz Bojarski (POL F).

President of the Republic of Italy, Sergio Mattarella was welcomed by the NATO Secretary-General and the NDC Commandant, before receiving a ceremonial salute from the guard of honour. Other high-ranking dignitaries were in attendance, including the Italian Minister of Defence, the Hon. Roberta Pinotti; the Chairman of the Military Committee (CMC), General Petr Pavel (CZE A), and the Italian Chief of Defence, General Claudio Graziano. Many ambassadors to Italy were also present for the ceremony, along with Italian political and military authorities.

A commemorative stone, specially commissioned for the 65th anniversary of the College’s foundation and the 50th anniversary of the relocation from Paris to Rome, was unveiled by President Sergio Mattarella and Jens Stoltenberg.

The second part of the ceremony took place in the Maynard-Thorn Hall, where Major General Bojarski gave a brief welcome speech before offering the floor to Secretary-General Stoltenberg for the opening address.

President Mattarella underlined the significance that the NATO Defence College’s achievements hold for Italy as the proud host nation.