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Libya celebrates 3rd anniversary of Civic Revolution

Charge d’Affaires (CDA) Farhat A. Abdussalam of Libya in Seoul hosted a reception at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Feb . 17, 2014 to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the Glorious 17 February Revolution.

Many distinguished guests from the Korean society and international community attended the reception as well as the members of the Libyan community in Korea.

Among the Korean guests were Deputy Minister Jo Dae-Shik of Foreign Affairs for Planning and Coordination, Secretary-General Chung Yong-chil of Korea-Arab Society (former Korean ambassador), Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post, President Kim Chang-Rae of Hanmi Global for Overseas Business, President Tony Kang of ES Biomedics, former AMCHAM President Jeffrey D. Jones (now a member of Kim & Chang) and Liberty Gym Head Instructor Ms. Inyoung Choi.

From left: Ambassadors Mohamed Salim Alharthy of Oman, Farhat A. Abdussalam of Libya (CDA) and Ahmad Y. Al-Barrak of Saudi Arabia

Attendance from the international community was also very large, especially the Seoul Diplomatic Corps, where the mission chiefs present included Ambassadors Elisabeth Bertagnoli of Austria, Ramzi Teymurov of Azerbaijan (CDA), Natallia Jhylevich of Belarus, Dato Haji Harun Ismail of Brunei Darussalam, Petar Andonov of Bulgaria, Grecia Fiodalicia Pichardo of Dominican Republic, Khalil Ismai Abdul Sahib Al-Mosawi of Iraq, Ngovi Kitau of Kenya, Mohammed Chraibi of Morocco, Kaman Singh Lama of Nepal, Desmond Akawor of Nigeria, Mohamed Salim Alharthy of Oman, Ceferino Adrian Valdez Peralta of Paraguay, Ahmad Y. Al-Barrak of Saudi Arabia, Mamadou Ndiaye of Senegal, Branco Marjanac of Serbia (CDA), Tajeldin Elhadi Eltahir of Sudan, Mohamed Ali Nafti of Tunisia and Alisher Kurmanov of Uzbekistan.

The logo ice work of the Revolution Day celebration of Libya at Lotte Hotel in Seoul

Speaking to the guests, CDA Abdussalam said in part: “The Libyan Revolution of February 17 reinforced the road of the dignity, freedom, democracy and progress for the people of Libya after their overthrow of the dictatorial regime that had controlled the fate of the Libyan people for decades.” (See excerpts from the speech toward the end of this Article.)
His welcome speech was responded to by a congratulatory speech by Deputy Minister Jo of the Foreign Affairs, who reminisced, ““The Libyan Citizens’ Revolution bears a special meaning to me in person who served as Korean ambassador to Libya at the time as well as to the people of Libya. A week had barely passed after my accreditation to Libya when the Civic Revolution occurred that changed the history of Libya. I personally saw the unflinching spirit of the Libyan people to resist oppression and I would like to take this opportunity express my respect for the Libyan people for that.”

In the beginning of this Occasion, we are asking for Allah’s mercy for the souls of the martyrs who sacrified their lives for the freedom that we are enjoying today and for mercy and forgiveness, wishing speedy recovery for the injured persons and returning of the missing persons to their families.
I would like to extend my deep thanks and appreciation to you for coming and sharing with us our celebration to mark the 3rd Anniversary of the Glorious 17th of February Revolution, which has reinfored the road of the diginity, freedom, democracy and progress for the people of Libya after the overthrow of the dictatorial regime that had controlled the fate of the Libyans for decades.
By the grace of Allah, then the Revolution, Libyan people enjoy the freedom of opinion, expression, press and political organizing.

Charge d’Affaires Farhat A. Abdussalam of Libya (left) and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post

In 2012 the Libyan people elected through civilized democratic and fair practice, the General National Congress, and an interim government. Currently Libyan people are working on drafting a new constitution with popular referendum besides election the legislative and executive institutions during these years, in addition to the implementation of the reconstruction projects and developing the country’s infrastructure.

I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to express thanks and gratitude to Her Excellency Presidfent Park Geun-Hye and the friendly Korean people on the reconstruction stages, in particular, the program of identification of martyrs and missing persons and knowledge-sharing program.
I can assure you willingness and keenness of the government and people of Libya to promote cooperation and friendly relations with Republic of Korea in various fields. Particularly, the relations between the two countries has seen a great leap during 2013 in sectors of construction, housing, defense, water desalination, economy and health.

Charge d’Affaires Farhat A. Abdussalam of Libya (left) offers a toast to Deputy Minister Jo Dae Shik of Foreign Affairs for Planning and Coordination of Korea.

This has been reflected clearly, recently, in full cooperation and coordination between Libyan and Korean governments through the embassy of Libya in Seoul in positive and wise dealing to release the director of Korean agency for promotion of trade (KOTRA), who was kidnappped in Libya.
In this light, we inform the Korean companies that Libya opens door for them to contribute to building a new Libya and the Korean companies are invited by the Ministry of Defense of Libya to participate in the International Exhibition of “Military and Defense Security” that will be held from 14 to 16 April 2014 in Tripoli.
Also, I extend my thanks to the members of Libyan community located in the Republic of Korea who are contributing through theirs business in promoting the friendly relation between the two countries.

Once again, thank you ladies and gentleman, Long Live Free Libya, Long Live the Libyan-Korea Friendship! May Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be Upon You!
Now, I’m pleased to give the opportunity to HE Mr. Jo Dae-Shik, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Planning and Coordination, to deliver his address.

Excerpts from the congratulatory speech by Deputy Minister Jo Dae-Shik of Foreign Affairs:
I would like to express my warmest congratulations to the Government and people of Libya. I am honored to have the opportunity to offer some reflections on the 3rd Anniversary of the Glorious Revolution of the 17th February on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Korea.

This revolution holds great meaning of course for the Libyan people, and to me also, it was a very significant time. At the time the revolution occurred three years ago, it was less than two weeks after I had assumed my new post as Korean Ambassador to Libya. During this time, I was an actual witness of the revolution which the people of Libya demonstrated their strong spirit of resistance. I pay tribute to the people of Libya who, with great courage and determination, overcame various difficulties in their path to triumph in the revolution.

Korea and Libya have shared close bonds of friendship over the past 40 years. In particular, Korean companies have participated in the field of construction of infrastructure such as electric power, housing, and Libya’s Great Man-Made River project.
There are many kinds of signs demonstrating the solid ties between our two countries.
Recently, there has been an occasion on which the close ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries have been clearly reaffirmed.

Last month although the head of the Libya unit of KOTRA was kidnapped in Libya by unidentified kidnappers he was released just three days after the incident happened thanks to the Libyan Government’s wholehearted efforts and support. When the kidnapping occurred on Monday, January 20th, I attended the emergency meeting in the early hours of the morning and immediately went to Libya. As a special envoy of the Foreign Minister, when I met with many important figures in Libya, I felt that the Libyan Government showed a particular concern over the kidnapping, just as if it were one of their own nationals who were in trouble. I would like to take this opportunity once again to express my deepest appreciation to the Libyan Government for the invaluable help rendered to secure his release and safe return.

Currently, Libya is moving forward with the political schedule with the aim of holding a general election and the forming of a parliament by the end of this year. Just as the Libyan people successfully accomplished a revolution, I believe that they will establish social stability and democracy within the earliest possible time.

The Korean Government would like to contribute to this process of reconstruction. We will continue to support the program of Identifying the Remains of Missing Libyan Nationals, vocational training and cooperation in the field of health and medical treatment.
Once again, I would like to offer my congratulation on the 3rd Anniversary of the Glorious Revolution of 17th February and propose a toast to the continued development and lasting prosperity of Libya.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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