UPDATE : 2018.11.15 THU 14:32
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Bulgaria celebrates her National Day and EU PresidencyAt a gala reception hosted by Ambassador Andonov

Ambassador Petar Andonov of Bulgaria in Seoul said: “Third of March is our National Day and I am glad that you are here tonight to help us to mark it. On March 3rd 1878, or exactly 140 years ago, the Bulgarian statehood was restored after almost 500 years of Ottoman Empire rule and Bulgaria reappeared on the European political map.”
Speaking at a reception he hosted at the Grand Hyatt Seoul on March 5, 2018 in celebration of the National Day of Bulgaria and the assumption of the EU Council chairmanship by Bulgaria, Ambassador Andonov stated, “In March 2018, exactly 140 years later, Republic of Bulgaria is holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU until June 30th for a first time since our accession to the EU in 2007.”

Ambassador Andonov delivers a welcoming speech to the guest.

Then he said, “We are glad that the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU also coincides with the 55th anniversary of establishment of the diplomatic relations between the EU and the Republic of Korea.” (See excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Andonov toward the end of this report.)
The reception was attended by many distinguished guests from Korean government and society as well as from the international community in Seoul, particularly the Seoul Diplomatic Corps.
Among them were Deputy Minister and Spokesman Noh Kyu-duk of Foreign Affairs for Public Affairs Rep. Hong Moon-pyo (chairman of the Korea-Bulgaria Parliamentary Friendship Association and Korean Honorary Consul Kim Hi-yong of Bulgaria in Seoul.

Deputy Minister and Spokesman Noh Kyu-duk of Foreign Affairs for Public Affairs

Ambassador Andonov’s speech was followed by a congratulatory speech by Spokesman and Deputy Minister for Public Relations Noh Kyu-Duk of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Deputy Minister Noh said, “The relationship between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Korea is at its strongest level yet since our two nations signed the “Joint Declaration on the Comprehensive and Future-Oriented Partnership” in 2015 on the occasion of celebrating 25th years of diplomatic relations.”
Then he said: “In particular, we engaged in very active high-level exchanges last year. The Bulgarian Speaker of the National Assembly made an official visit to Korea last August, and Prime Minister Mr. Lee Nak-yeon of the Republic of Korea, made an official visit to Bulgaria that following October, which further strengthened our reciprocal partnership.”
The reception also included cultural performances, which added to the pleasant ambience of the party.

Ambassador Petar Andonov (8th from left, second row) poses with other ambassadors at the celebration of the National Day of Bulgaria.

Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Andonov:
Your Excellency Mr. Noh Kyu-duk, Deputy Minister for Public Affairs and Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea,
Honorable Mr. Hong Moon-pyo, Member of National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Chairman, Korea-Bulgaria Parliamentary Friendship Association, Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends!
Third of March is our National Day and I am glad that you are here tonight to help us to mark it. On March 3rd 1878 or exactly 140 years ago, the Bulgarian statehood was restored after almost 500 years of Ottoman Empire rule and Bulgaria reappeared on the European political map.
In March 2018, exactly 140 years later, Republic of Bulgaria is holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU until June 30th for a first time since our accession to the EU in 2007. We are glad that the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU also coincides with the 55th anniversary of establishment of the diplomatic relations between the EU and the Republic of Korea.

National anthem sung by Camarata Music Company's Camber singers


As a member-state currently holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU we are working on four main priorities that will be presented in the following short video:
We maintain a very active political dialogue between Sofia and Seoul under the new administration of H.E. Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea. In August 2017 a parliamentary delegation led by the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria paid an official visit to the Republic of Korea.
In October 2017, H.E. Lee Nak-yeon, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea made an official visit to Republic of Bulgaria. We highly appreciate the fact that it was his first overseas visit as a Prime Minister. The talks between the Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria H.E. Boyko Borisov and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea H.E. Lee Nak-yeon opened a new chapter in our bilateral relations of comprehensive and future-oriented partnership. We are currently working on Prime Minister Borisov’s visit to the Republic of Korea in the near future and we believe that such a visit will be linked to the launch of new investment projects of Korean companies in Bulgaria, especially in the field of automotive industry and IT sector. We also hope that H.E. Moon Jae-in will become the first President of ROK to visit Bulgaria.
I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate the Korean authorities for the successful hosting of 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeonChang, the largest in history. These games will be also remembered by transforming the Olympics viewing experience through the ultra-fast 5G network.
I would like to thank all of you once again for joining us this evening and sharing our celebratory spirit. I would especially like to thank Mr. Kim Hi Yong, Honorary Consul of Bulgaria in Seoul for more than 25 years who has made with his sponsorship tonight’s reception such an outstanding event.
I would also like to gratefully acknowledge the contribution of Mr. Choi Kang-Yong, our Honorary Consul in Busan,·Gyeongnam and to congratulate him with the upcoming opening of the export-oriented dairy products’ factory of his company CY Group in Bulgaria.
I hope you will enjoy this evening of fun, friendship and festivity and that you will carry with you good memories of this reception.
Thank you very much for your kind attention!

Excerpts from the congratulatory speech of Deputy Minister Noh Kyu-duk:
Ambassador Petar Andonov, Honorable Mr. Hong Moon-pyo, Chairman of the Korea-Bulgaria Parliamentary Friendship Association, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen:
It is my great pleasure and honor to be here with you to celebrate the Republic of Bulgaria’s 140th anniversary of liberation on its National Day* as well as the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and to express heartfelt congratulations on behalf of the government and people of the Republic of Korea.
Bulgaria is very well-known among the Korean people as a country of longevity with a healthy food culture. As a result of close cooperation between Korean and Bulgarian companies, Bulgarian yogurt, which has been deemed the secret to long life of Bulgarians, will be entering our domestic market soon. I am excited that I will soon be able to enjoy Bulgaria’s traditional yogurt to my heart’s content, and just thinking about it is actually making me feel healthier already.
The relationship between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Korea is at its strongest level yet since our two nations signed the 「Joint Declaration on the Comprehensive and Future-Oriented Partnership」in 2015 on the occasion of celebrating 25th years of diplomatic relations. In particular, we engaged in very active high-level exchanges last year. The Bulgarian Speaker of the National Assembly made an official visit to Korea last August, and Prime Minister Mr. Lee Nak-yeon of the Republic of Korea, made an official visit to Bulgaria that following October, which further strengthened our reciprocal partnership.
During the Prime Ministers’ meeting, our two countries agreed to boost cooperation in various fields including △trade and investment △energy △the defense industry and △agriculture. Furthermore, as a follow-up to the meeting, a public-private economic mission will be sent to Bulgaria at the end of this month. Through such comprehensive follow-up measures, I sincerely hope to deepen substantial cooperation in diverse areas.
Korea and Bulgaria share many things in common : △a diligent national character △a huge passion for education fever and △ICT development, to name a few. Based on such similarities, I am confident that we will continue to successfully enhance our relations in the years to come.
Bulgaria became a center of learning and intelligence in the Southeastern Europe through its development of the Cyrillic alphabet, and the Bulgarian people maintained through their unique identity through firm religious beliefs and spiritual culture.
Moreover, Bulgaria became a member of NATO in 2004 and of the EU in 2007, which raised the nation’s status to the heart of Southeastern Europe within the global community.
Since it joined the EU 11 years ago, Bulgaria holds the presidency of the Council of the EU during the first half of this year for the very first time. I firmly believe that Bulgaria will demonstrate great leadership in dealing with global issues and matters within the EU, and make an outstanding contribution towards the development of relations between the EU and Korea.
As the following Bulgarian quote states, “Harmony of friendship can lift a mountain, “the friendship of our two nations also stands on a solid foundation. Taking this opportunity, I would like to extend my utmost gratitude to Ambassador Andonov for his heartfelt endeavors towards strengthening the ties of mutual friendship and cooperation between our two countries since assuming his post in 2012.
Once again, I would like to express my sincerest congratulations to the Republic of Bulgaria on its National Day, and I salute the everlasting partnership and continuous prosperity of our two countries as well.
Thank you, Blagodaria!

Kim Sua  edt@koreapost.com

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