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Tunisia's 56th National Day Marked in Seoul
Tunisia, S. Korea's Long Bileteral Ties Grow Steadily
Tunisian Ambassador to Seoul Ammar Amari (left) makes a toast with Mr. Ahn Ho-Young, first vice minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, at Tunisia's 56th National Day reception in Seoul.

Tunisian Ambassador to Seoul Ammar Amari and his spouse Mrs. Hassaina Hayet Amari hosted a reception at the Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul on the evening of March 20 (Tuesday), 2012 in celebration of their country's 56th anniversary of its independence.

Tunisian Independence Day, which is their National Day, is the day Tunisians gained independence from France in 1956.

Hundreds high-profile guests nearly from all walks of life attended the dinner reception, which lasted into the late evening.

Tunisian Ambassador to Seoul Ammar Amari and his spouse Mrs. Hassaina Hayet Amari pose with Mr. Ahn Ho-Young.

Among them were scores of top foreign envoys serving in Seoul's diplomatic community.

From the South Korean government came Mr. Ahn Ho-Young, first vice minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea.

Following the Ambassador Amari's welcoming speech Mr. Ahn gave a congratulatory speech in French language. Mr. Ahn stressed the bilateral ties and mutual cooperation in his speech.

Tunisian Ambassador to Seoul Ammar Amari poses with guests.

In his speech Ambassador Amari said that political, economic, scientific, cultural, and academic cooperation between the two nations witnessed a significant development with the signing of numerous agreements over the years.

The ambassador emphasized "more than 40 years of bilateral relations."

He also mentioned that South Korea's support for the financial and technical development projects in Tunisia through KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency).

Tunisian Ambassador to Seoul Ammar Amari (2nd from left) and his spouse Mrs. Hassaina Hayet Amari receive guests.

Tunisia was also one of the first African and Arabic nations to establish diplomatic ties with South Korea.

On March 31, 1969 Tunisia and South Korea established formal diplomatic relations.

Since then the bilateral relations have undergone a significant development.

The bilateral trade volume stood at 380 million US dollars in 2010.

Mrs. Hassaina Hayet Amari , spouse of Tunisian Ambassador to Seoul Ammar Amari, receives guests .

Tunisia's import was 345 million US dollars and its export was 35 million US dollars.

Main import items were railroad cars, passenger cars, construction equipment, synthetic resins, and cordless phones.

Tunisia exported to South Korea such items as aluminium, textile and garment, wireless communications parts, and fish and meat.

Currently some 180 South Koreans work or live in Tunisia. They are workers of LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Yura Corporation, and KOICA and other South Korean government officials and their family members.

Mrs. Hassaina Hayet Amari , spouse of Tunisian Ambassador to Seoul Ammar Amari, is seen among the guests.

The following is the full text of Ambassador Amari's speech.

Welcoming Address by H.E. Ambassador Ammar Amari
On the occasion of the celebration of The National Day of The Republic of Tunisia ( March 20 th, 2012 )

Honorable Mr. Ahn Ho-Young, First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea;
Dear Excellencies Ambassadors;
Distinguished Korean Friends and Guests;
Dear Members of the Tunisian Community;
Ladies and Gentlemen;

Mrs. Hassaina Hayet Amari , spouse of Tunisian Ambassador to Seoul Ammar Amari, poses with her guests.

Hwan Young Habnida ( Welcome )
I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to H.E. Mr. Ahn Ho-Young , Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea for honoring us by his presence tonight and sharing with us our Joy in celebrating the 56 th Anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Tunisia and the 1 st Anniversary of its Glorious Revolution, the Revolution of Freedom and Dignity. My warm thanks go also to all of you, attending so numerous this special event, thus showing the precious friendship you have to my country Tunisia and to its people.

Tunisia's 56th National Day reception goes on.

Distinguished Guests;
The year 2011 was not like any year in Tunisia’s history. Allow me, at the outset, to pay tribute and to salute the martyrs and youths of Tunisia’s peaceful revolution, a revolution for freedom and dignity that offered to the world an Arab Spring. This historical event actually infused a new hope into the conscience of human kinds that yearns for justice and democracy and holds high the values of freedom and human rights.

This spontaneous revolution, free from any political or ideological framing and without any foreign support, has indeed succeeded in putting an end to one of the most obnoxious dictatorship in the region and in unveiling its practices which blocked for decades all political perspectives, stifled freedom of expression and dashed the hope of youths for a better future, self accomplishment and effective participation in the economic and social life.

Having freed itself from all the restrictions that hindered its political, economic, social and cultural progress, Tunisia is today at a turning point of its history and on the threshold of a new era. It yearns for the establishment of a genuine democracy founded on strong guaranties that consecrate people’s sovereignty and the possibility for them to enjoy their full rights and determine their destiny. These are the objectives of our Glorious Revolution : They will be fulfilled and we will be forever faithful to the memories of our Martyrs.


Honorable Vice Minister;
Distinguished Guests;
In paying tribute to the Martyrs of our revolution and to the exceptional courage of our Youths, I would like to seize this opportunity to express Tunisia’s recognition and gratitude to the overwhelming support received from brotherly and friendly countries. In this regard, it is only fitting to underline, in this special occasion, the exemplary relations of friendship and cooperation between Tunisia and the Republic of Korea.

Our two countries enjoy more than 40 years of bilateral diplomatic relations marked by friendship and mutual respect. Tunisia was one of the first African and Arab Countries to establish diplomatic ties with South Korea and since the 60’s, relations between the two countries have undergone a significant development. Political, economic, scientific, cultural and academic cooperation between the two nations have witnessed a significant development with the signing of numerous agreements. The achievements of KOICA in Tunisia stand as the best example of this cooperation. Hence, since the setting up of KOICA in 1991, Korea has been supporting financially and technically development projects in Tunisia. Korean Volunteers are contributing side by side with their Tunisian friends in many development activities in Tunisia and many of our elite students are attending prestigious Korean universities. Nevertheless, this level of cooperation does not actually reflect the excellent political relations between our two countries. Thus, the first elected Tunisian Government , based on the same values of freedom and democracy we henceforth share, is very determined to enhancing our friendly relations with the Asian continent. We are particularly looking to Korea as a success story that we are very keen to get inspired from and to share its knowhow and expertise.

When asked:”What was the secret of Korea’s success” ?
President Lee Myung-Bak responded and I quote:” Without any hesitation, I say that it was the power of education.”
Like Korea, Tunisia has no major natural resources. Also like Korea, Tunisia has chosen to promote its human resources.

Honorable Vice Minister;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Thank you for placing Tunisia in your hearts for being with us tonight. I can only conclude by joining Korea Master SHIN JONG WON wish for my country :
“LET THERE BE THE LAND WHERE THE NEW SUN’S LIGHT NEVER BE DOWN “
Please join me know in proposing a toast for Korea, its President and its people as well as for Tunisia-Korea friendship.

THANK YOU



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