Ambassador Mohammed El Amine Derragui of Algeria said, “The history of the Algerian Revolution, not so far away, reminds us of the price of freedom and the significance of the struggle for justice and equality, values that are still, in different forms, relevant nowadays in our current world.” Speaking at a reception Ambassador and Mrs. Derragui hosted at the Grand Hyatt Seoul on Nov. 1, 2016 in celebration of the National Day of Algeria Ambassador Derragui added, “And I am sure that the Korean people, who suffered a lot from foreign occupation as well, share with us this conviction.” Then he said, “I would like on this occasion to thank and express my gratitude to the Korean citizens who have taken sides with the struggle of the Algerian people against colonialism.” (See excerpts from his speech toward the end of this article.)
The reception began with the offering of prayers. Ambassador Derragui offered: “May I invite you to observe a minute of silence in memory of the martyrs fallen on the field of honor.” All the guests in a solemn mood heard the prayers of Ambassador Derragui.”
The Algerian National Day reception was attended by several hundred dignitaries from various segments of Korean society as well as from the international community, the Seoul Diplomatic Corps, in particular.
Among the guests in attendance were Minister Park Sungchoon of Patriots & Veterans Affairs and the leading figures of the government, business and various other segments of Korean society, including the mass communications media from which came Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media (publisher of 3 English and two Korean-language news media).
From the business community came many CEOs of the business companies engaged in economic cooperation between Korea and Algeria, who included President Jeong Soo-dong of Dohwa Engineering Co., Ltd.
There were an estimated total of over hundred ambassadors and other senior diplomats, many of them accompanied by their spouses. They included Ambassadors Albino Malungo of Angola, Elisabeth Bertagnoli of Austria, Ramzi Teymurov of Azerbaijan, Md. Zulfiqur Rahman of Bangladesh, Dato Paduka Haji Modh Rosli Bin Haji Sabtu of Brunei Darussalam, Grecia Fiodalicia Pichardo of Dominican Republic, Hany Moawad Selim Labib of Egypt, Shiferaw Jarso Tedecha of Ethiopia, Carlos Victor Boungou of Gabon, Hassan Taherian of Iran, Aingeal O’onoghue of Ireland, Dulat Bakisher of Kazakhstan, Mohamed Abdi Gello of Kenya, Askar Beshimov of Kyrgyzstan, Khamsouay Keodalavong of Lao, Ganbold Baasanjav of Mongolia, Irineo Raul Silvero Silvagni of Paraguay, Alexander Andreevich Tomonin of Russia, Omrie Michael Golley of Sierra Leone, Gonzalo Ortiz Diaz-Tortosa of Spain, Niroshani Manisha Dias Abeywickrema Gunasekera of Sri Lanka, Mohamed Ali Nafti of Tunisia, Hakan Okcal of Turkey, Myrat Mammetalyyev of Turkmenistan, Mark W. Lippert of the United States of America and Botirjon Asadov of Uzbekistan Mumba Smyth Kapumpa of Zambia.
(The above list does not include the ambassadors and their spouses who might have come later after The Korea Post reporters had left or those others who might have come earlier and left before the arrival of The Korea Post reportorial team.?Ed.)
Excerpts from the congratulatory message of Ambassador Derragui of Algeria:
Brothers and sisters, members of the Algerian community, Distinguished Guests,
May I invite you to observe a minute of silence in memory of the martyrs fallen on the field of honor.
I would like to express to all of you my sincere thanks for accepting our invitation to share with us the commemoration of the 62nd anniversary of the outbreak of our revolution for independence.
It is an honor for me to welcome you on this particularly cherished occasion by our people, which resonated for all peoples who tasted the bitter experience of colonialism and shared with us the challenge and the fight for dignity and decent life. The history of this revolution, not so far away, reminds us of the price of freedom and the significance of the struggle for Justice and Equality, values that are still, in different forms, relevant nowadays in our current world.
And I am sure that the Korean people, who suffered a lot from foreign occupation as well, share with us this conviction.
I would like on this occasion to thank and express my gratitude to the Korean citizens who have taken sides with the struggle of the Algerian people against colonialism and, I would like to mention particularly Mr. Jung Joon-sung, who is not able to be with us here today for being outside of Korea. I would like to pay tribute to all of them.
I would like to thank on this occasion all those who are contributing actively to the development of Algeria-Korea bilateral relations, and with whom our embassy cooperates on a daily basis, whether they are in the Korean government or in the private sector, and who contribute to making our strategic partnership a concrete reality.
I would like also to express our satisfaction for the level reached by the Algeria-Korea relations in the recent years, and reiterate here our full commitment to their development and their extension to all areas.
I am also happy to greet, on this occasion, the members of the Algerian community living in Korea and to extend to them my best wishes of good health and happiness, and to encourage them to continue, through their work, to support the Algeria-Korea relations.
To the glory of our martyrs!
Long live Algeria!
Long live the Algeria-Korea friendship!
Excerpt from the congratulatory speech of Minister Park:
H.E. Mohammed El Amine Derragui, Algerian ambassador to the Republic of Korea, members of the Diplomatic Corps, distinguished guests and ladies and gentlemen,
It is such a profound honor for me to join you in celebrating the 62nd anniversary of the Algerian Revolution Day. May the glory of Algeria endure forever.
I am here as the Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs of Korea because although Algeria is not one of the 21 UN members during the Korean War, my counterpart from Algeria will pay a visit to Korea in mid-November to identify and discuss new avenues for mutual cooperation.
Every November 1 Algeria commemorates the first successfully coordinated campaigns in 1954 that continued more than seven years and ended 132 years of colonization and won Algerian independence.
Since Korea shares similar historical background, as we were under the Japanese rule for 36 years, we are well aware of the true meaning of independence, and that is why we find today's commemoration all the more meaningful.
Taking this opportunity, I express my deepest respect, as Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, to all those Algerian patriots and veterans who dedicated and sacrificed themselves to the independence and freedom of Algeria. Moreover, I would like to deliver my compliments to Algerian people for their ceaseless efforts to develop democratic and social systems and boost the economy.
His Excellency, distinguished guests,
Algeria and Korea are now facing a critical point to heighten our strategic partnership forged in 2006 to a new level. Our trade already reached $1.7 billion, and the number of those Algerian talents who have been trained on the invitation of KOICA has reached 1,000 so far.
Moreover, we are seeing more active cooperation between our governments.
As for its part, my ministry will do its best to welcome the Algerian mission in mid-November and to lay a firm foundation for ministerial cooperation.
The Korean peninsula remains as the only divided land in the world. That is because, for our part, we have been unable to change North Korean regime, while for the North's part, they have been unable to dismantle the ROK-US alliance.
It is not military confrontation that maintains the solid alliance and changes the regime in Pyongyang, but non-military confrontation. It is what the Korean government, political leaders and people should be focusing on.
I would like to thank the Diplomatic corps here for their active support for the Korean government's efforts and policies to resolve North Korean nuclear problems at a time when Pyongyang is stepping up its military and non-military aggression towards us.
Once again, I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations on the Revolution Day of Algeria. As I conclude, I hope our countries may continue to strengthen the strategic partnership, and wish everyone here good health and great happiness.