On the occasion of the 54th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire and the 53rd anniversary establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Cote d’Ivoire, Ambassador Sylvestre Kouassi Bile and Mrs. Sarah Bile hosed a reception at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Aug. 7, 2014.
There came many distinguished guests from Korean society and international community as well as from the Diplomatic Corps of Korea.
Among the Korean guests were Ambassador Choi Sung-joo of International Security Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rep. Shim Jae-kwon of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy (chairman of the Korea-Cote d’Ivoire Parliamentary Friendship Association), Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post and traditional Korean food specialist Mrs. Ryoo Hyun-mi.
From the Diplomatic Corps came many ambassadors who included Ambassadors Ramzi Teymurov of Azerbaijan (CDA), Guadalupe Palomeque de Taboada of Bolivia, Dato Haji Harun Ismail of Brunei Darussalam, Petar Andonov of Bulgaria, Manuel Lopez Trigo of Costa Rica, Grecia Fiodalicia Pichardo of Dominican Republic, Nicolas Fabian Trujillo Newlin of Ecuador, Ngovi Kitau of Kenya, Mohammed Chraibi of Morocco, Ceferino Adrian Valdez Peralta of Paraguay, Hernani Filomena Coelho Da Silva of Timor Leste, Vasyl Marmazov of Ukraine, Bakhtier N. Ibragimov of Uzbekistan (CDA) and Yadira Hidalgo de Ortiz of Venezuela (CDA).
At the outset of his welcome remarks, Ambassador Kouassi Bile expressed deepest condolences and sympathy for the victims of the Sewol Ferry Incident.
He said, “On this important day for my country and on behalf of His Excellency President Alassane Ouattara, the Ivorian Government and people, I would like, once again, to express my sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to the Government and the people of the Republic of Korea, as well as the families of the victims of the Ferry Sewol disaster.”
Then he said, “I truly hope that the people of the Republic of Korea, led by Her Excellency President Park Geun-hye, will find the strength to overcome this terrible loss and continue its triumphant walk towards progress.” (See excerpts from his speech at the end of this Article.)
Ambassador Kouassi Bile’s speech was followed by congratulatory remarks by Ambassador Choi Sung-joo of International Security Affairs of MOFA. Ambassador Choi said: “Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1961, Korea and Cote d'Ivoire have been working together to build strong bilateral ties. For the past 50 years, we have made much progress despite the geographical distance. Our two countries that had experienced colonization and wars overcame them to achieve economic growth and democratization. Today, we are expanding our scope of cooperation to a wide range of areas, including politics, economy, and culture.
“In particular, cooperation in culture and sports is very crucial in promoting mutual understanding and friendship between our peoples. I heard that, in Cote d'Ivoire, soccer and Taekwondo are very popular.
Last November, for the first time in Africa, the World Cup Taekwondo Team Championship was held in Abidjan. For this event, Kukkiwon demonstration team from Korea gave a performance. I am very delighted that Taekwondo is loved by so many people in Cote d'Ivoire and that sports are facilitating more active people-to-people exchange. I hope that Korea and Cote d'Ivoire will be able to further strengthen bilateral cooperation through sports.”
The speeches were followed by music performances presented by two Cote d’Ivoire drummers who played the drums in an excited manner which, in turn, also excited the audience.
Presently one lady, obviously attracted by the dynamic drum beats, came near the drummers and presented a traditional Cote d’Ivoire and in no time she was joined by other ladies. The rhythms of the drums and the fast body movements of the dancing ladies attracted many guests toward the stage and won a round of big applause.
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Kouassi Bile:It is a great pleasure to welcome you all on this auspicious occasion of the 54th anniversary of Cote d'Ivoire's Independence Day.
I would like to thank you all sincerely for accepting to take part in this meaningful celebration, which also honors the 53rd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Republic of Korea and Cote d’Ivoire, on July 23rd 1961.
On this important day for my country and on behalf of His Excellency President Alassane Ouattara, the Ivorian Government and people, I would like, once again, to express my sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to the Government and the people of the Republic of Korea, as well as the families of the victims of the Ferry Sewol disaster.
I truly hope that the people of the Republic of Korea, led by Her Excellency President Park Geun-hye, will find the strength to overcome this terrible loss and continue its triumphant walk towards progress.