Ambassador and Mrs. Mohamed Ali Nafti of the Republic of Tunisia hosted a reception at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on March 20, 2014 to celebrate the 58th anniversary of Independence of their country.
Many Korean and international dignitaries attended the function from all walks life as well as from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps (SDC) and other segments of the international community in Korea.
Among the Korean guests in attendance were Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Lee Kyung-Soo for Political Affairs and representatives from the government, business, social organizations and mass communications media, including Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post publishing four English- and Korean-language news media units.
From the international community came many prominent personalities including the mission chiefs and deputy heads of mission, who included Ambassador Dato Haji Harun Ismail of Brunei Darussalam who is the dean of the SDC. (See list at the end of this Article.)
There was presentation of National Anthems of Korea and Tunisia, to which the guests listened solemnly and at attention.
Then there were a welcome speech by Ambassador Nafti of Tunisia and a return congratulatory address by Deputy Minister Lee Kyung-soo.
In his speech, Ambassador Nafti said: “I am deeply grateful to all of you for gracing us by your presence to share with us our joy in celebrating the 58th Anniversary of independence of Tunisia. Indeed, on March 20th, 1956, Tunisia retrieved its sovereignty and begun the arduous mission of the setting up of the foundations of its modern Republic. On January 14th, 2011, the Tunisian people ushered in a new era in Tunisia’s history after a peaceful and spontaneous Revolution, crowned three years later by the adoption by the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly of a new constitution paving the way to the establishment of the rule of law, justice, dignity and human development for all Tunisians.” (See excerpts from the speech toward the end of this Article.)
In response, Deputy Minister Lee said that he whole-heartedly congratulated the Republic of Tunisia on its adoption of the New Constitutional Law and further democratic progress made in Tunisia.
Excerpts from the welcome speech of Ambassador Nafti:
This political achievement was overwhelmingly welcomed by the International community and praised by many brotherly and friendly countries among them South Korea.
In this spirit, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the Government and National Assembly of the Republic of Korea for their constant support to Tunisia in its endeavors to succeeding the transitional period towards an irreversible democracy.
We are quite confident that the two countries which enjoy 45 years of solid diplomatic relations will certainly work further for a brighter and fruitful cooperation for the mutual benefit of their peoples.
In this regard, we are working closely with the relevant public and private bodies and associations for a better and more efficient implementation of development projects, joint ventures, scientific and technological as well as educational and cultural cooperation.
Finally, I avail myself of this opportunity to encourage the Korean companies to have greater presence in the promising Tunisian Site for their investments and expansions, and to invite the Korean travelers to discover the beauty of Tunisia and its very rich cultural heritage, accumulated over 3000 years of civilization.
Honorable Deputy Minister,
Let me express, once again, to you and to our distinguished invitees our warmest thanks for being with us to commemorate this event.
Thank you very much
List of ambassadors and other senior members of the SDC attending the reception:
Ambassadors Hocine Sahraoui of Algeria, Albino Malungo of Angola, Ramzi Teymurov of Azerbaijan (CDA), Md. Enamul Kabir of Bangladesh, Guadalupe Palomeque de Taboada of Bolivia, Dato Haji Harun Ismail of Brunei Darussalam, Petar Andonov of Bulgaria, Manuel Lopez Trigo of Costa Rica, Sylvestre Kouassi Bile of Cote d'Ivoire, Jaroslav Olsa, jr. of Czech Republic, Grecia Fiodalicia Pichardo of Dominican Republic, Dibaba Abdetta (Dr.) of Ethiopia, Jerome Pasquier of France, Nikoloz Apkhazava of Georgia, Ms. Louisa Aba Hanson of Ghana (CDA), Gustavo Adolfo Lopez Calderon of Guatemala, Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla of Holy See, Michel Idiaquez Baradat of Honduras, John A. Prasetio of Indonesia, Ahmad Masoumifar of Iran, Khalil Ismai Abdul Sahib Al-Mosawi of Iraq, Jad El Hassan of Lebanon, Farhat A. Abdussalm of Libya (CDA), Ganbold Baasanjav of Mongolia, Mohammed Chraibi of Morocco, Desmond Akawor of Nigeria, Mohamed Salim Alharthy of Oman, Ceferino Adrian Valdez Peralta of Paraguay, Jaime Antonio Pomareda of Peru, Krzysztof Majka of Poland, Antonio Quintero Nobre of Portugal, Ahmad Y. Al-Barrak of Saudi Arabia, Mamadou Ndiaye of Senegal, Dusan Bella of Slovak Republic, Hilton A. Dennis of South Africa, Tissa Wijeratne of Sri Lanka, Tajeldin Elhadi Eltahir of Sudan, Hakan Okcal of Turkey, Vasyl Marmazov of Ukraine, Abdulla Khalfan Alromaithi of the United Arab Emirates, Dr. Alba Florio Legnani of Uruguay and Alisher Kurmanov of Uzbekistan.
(The above list is not complete and does not include the other attendees who might have come but were not noticed by The Korea Post reporters.)