San Marino has become the 31st country to establish a diplomatic mission in Wales with the appointment of Federico Podeschi as Honorary Consul.

Mr Podeschi recently launched the LGBT Excellence Centre Wales and is president of LGBT San Marino.

“I am honoured to have been appointed as a representative of my country to raise awareness about a Republic of which I am a very proud citizen, and to have the opportunity to bring together the two countries that I love the most: San Marino and Wales,” he said.

“Closer economic and academic co-operation between San Marino and Wales, both being amongst the smallest countries in Europe, will be mutually beneficial, enhance our competitiveness, and put both countries at the forefront of collaborative leadership.”

Swansea-based Mr Podeschi will take his oath in front of Capitani Reggenti, co-heads of the Republic of San Marino, on September 4. He went to university in Wales and has lived there for the last 11 years.

San Marino is a microstate landlocked by Italy. While not a member of the EU it uses the Euro as its currency.

It claims to be the oldest constitutional republic in the world. It was founded on 3 September 301.

San Marino has the smallest population of all the members of the Council of Europe, less than 30,000.

The Right Honourable Rhodri Morgan AM, First Minister for Wales, said:

“I welcome Mr Podeschi’s appointment and I look forward to a warm and lasting relationship between Wales and San Marino.”

The LGBT Excellence Centre Wales was founded by Mr Podeschi in 2007, a social enterprise model for delivering equality and human rights in Wales for people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender.

He has delivered diversity training for large organisations and has recently developed a programme tackling homophobic bullying in Welsh schools.