Tunisia celebrates 60th National Day
Tunisian Ambassador to Korea Mohamed Ali Nafti hosted a reception to mark his country’s 60th National Day — and to bid his farewell — at the Korea Press Center in Seoul on July 25.
Foreign envoys and local representatives, including Korea-Tunisia Parliamentary Friendship Group President Joo Gwang-deok, attended.
Nafti, who ends his term Monday, believed the two countries have promising opportunities for bilateral cooperation, particularly in information and communications technology, scientific research, health, culture and economic partnerships.
“Tunisia shall always extend its hand to further enhance the friendly relationship of cooperation so happily existing with Korea,” the ambassador said during his speech.
He called Koreans “admirable, hardworking, innovative and generous” and said he was very proud of Korea’s national identity and cultural heritage.
On July 25, 1957, a year and four months after regaining its independence, Tunisia ushered in a new political era by proclaiming unanimously the first sovereign and modern republic in the country’s history, led by Habib Bourguiba, the diplomat said.
“Since then, and notwithstanding some weaknesses due to the lack of democracy, significant and valuable accomplishments have been achieved, in particular in the field of education, women’s empowerment and healthcare,” he said.
Thanks to a long process of reforms that culminated in the Jasmine Revolution, Tunisians can enjoy the second republic whose cornerstones have been consolidated by the adoption of a new constitution and fair and transparent elections held in 2014, the diplomat said.
During his term, Tunisia had a special moment — winning the Nobel Peace Prize for 2015.
The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet received the award in October for a “decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011,” the Nobel Prize jury said.
The quartet was formed in the summer of 2013, when the country’s move to democracy was in danger of collapsing because of political assassinations and widespread social unrest.
“We Tunisians are aware that democracy is a long process and we remain strongly committed to preserving our young democracy, which also requires the success of the economic transition and the continuous support of friendly countries, among them, Korea,” Nafti said.
Tunisian Ambassador to Korea Mohamed Ali Nafti, left, shakes hands with Korea-Tunisia Parliamentary Friendship Group President Joo Gwang-deok dur- ing a reception that marked Tunisia’s 60th National Day at the Korea Press Center in Seoul, July 25.