On the occasion of the national holiday of the Kingdom of Morocco on the 30th of July, H. E. Ms. Zakia El Midaoui, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of our country, and her husband, Mr. Chaib Lalouh, gave a reception at their residence.

It was attended by an impressive number of guests, including: Mr. Todor Stoyanov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms.  Yuri Shterk, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Valentin Yovev, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, Mr. Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Prime Minister of Bulgaria (2001-2005), and his wife Margarita, ambassadors, diplomats, lawyers, journalists, cultural figures, representatives of international organizations, civil society, and the Moroccan diaspora in Bulgaria.

The New Symphony Orchestra played the hymns of both countries, which later took care of the good mood of the guests.

H. E. Ms. Zakia El Midaoui delivered a welcome speech:

Distinguished guests,

First of all, I would like to congratulate Bulgaria on the success of its Presidency of the Council of Europe and the dynamic it has been able to instill in the priorities it has assigned itself to.

I am particularly honored, together with my husband and my colleagues at the embassy, to welcome you tonight, in order to share the joy of the Moroccan people, who celebrate today, inside and outside the Kingdom, the 19th anniversary of the accession of His Majesty King Mohammed VI to the throne of his glorious ancestors, and to share with you this moment of conviviality and friendship under the sign of the Moroccan-Bulgarian friendship.

Your presence among us tonight is an honor and a sign of friendship, which I highly appreciate and for which I thank you very much. This shows your sincere attachment to the relationship with my country, the Kingdom of Morocco.

Morocco and Bulgaria have had very good relations for more than half a century and they continue to develop, to consolidate and to expand to other sectors and areas of common interest.

Moreover, these relations have regained their strength in recent months thanks to number of visits of Moroccan delegations enhancing a new partnership dynamic in the areas of protection of the rights of the Child and social protection.

This momentum was made possible by the conclusion of a bilateral Convention to protect workers' rights, which led, lately, the delegations of the Ministries of Labor of Morocco and Bulgaria to agree on the implementation modalities, in full compliance with national laws and international commitments of both countries.

Distinguished guests, Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Throne Day is also an opportunity for my country to celebrate our values of freedom, dignity, sharing, good neighborliness and mutual respect in a world of crisis, confrontation, fracture, fear and uncertainty.

Despite this unfavorable international context, marked by global challenges, Morocco remains a land of peace and friendship, where men and women coming from all borders can live side by side. Thanks to the foresight, leadership and wisdom of His Majesty King Mohamed VI, the friendly cohabitation between cultures, religions, races and between civilizations, are today the characteristics of the Kingdom of Morocco cherishing these human universal values.

The advent of the reign of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, inaugurated an innovative vision of national identity, that of unity in diversity. That is why the Kingdom ranks among the countries, which are keen to make the voice of peace and wisdom, heard, and act for the dialogue between civilizations, cultures and peoples, to silence the voices of extremists, islamophobias and fight against fanatics, who pretend to speak in the name of Islam.

Morocco is firmly committed to peace and to the need for interreligious dialogue, and dialogue between countries, peoples and civilizations in the diversity of cultures, which is able to unite humanity despite our differences in socio-economic, political, religious and ethnic matters.

It is on the yardstick of this militant and determined voluntarism that the Moroccan resilience and its long walk for diversity and pluralism find their rightful place in our society.

Our civilizations, our religions, our identities, our histories, our concerns and our challenges must not be used to serve regression, denial, division and fear of the other.

Distinguished guests, Excellences, ladies and gentlemen,

Morocco has made considerable progress in its fight against racism, discrimination, intolerance, terrorism, extremism and radicalism in all their forms, particularly through the reform process of its institutional and legislative sectors to adapt its domestic legislation with the provisions of the international instruments in this field. This commitment is illustrated through its legal arsenal, its institutions and its political choices and the opening of its economic system involving all actors, all regions, and all political, social and cultural sensibilities.

Morocco is constantly acting to make a structural transformation of its economy, aiming to strengthen its capacity, to create jobs and to improve its competitiveness and its integration, both at national, regional and international level as well as its diversity, attractiveness and added value.

In the context of the strategic priority outlined by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, in the field of foreign policy, Morocco plays an important role in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding alongside the United Nations.

Morocco maintains exemplary cooperation in political, cultural, spiritual and economic fields, with all continents and almost all countries.

At the African level, this cooperation is materialized by concrete actions of solidarity such as south-south cooperation, the cancellation of the debt of the least developed African countries, the exemption of their customs duty products at the entry of the Moroccan market, the regularization of sub-Saharan citizens in irregular situation in Morocco.

Under the impetus of His Majesty King Mohamed VI, Morocco continues to work to ensure the effectiveness of rights, the reduction of social and territorial inequalities and the consolidation of social cohesion, to enable both the strengthening of citizenship and to stimulate individual and collective performance, consolidating the basis of values and better value the material and intangible heritage to make it a field of creation of shared wealth and opportunities for a positive expression of Moroccan youth.

Distinguished guests,

Morocco has enshrined its development model in sustainability to transform the kingdom into a pole of stability and partnership that fully plays its role of strengthening peace, democracy, security and dialogue among civilizations, promoting values of tolerance and being part of balanced sustainable co-development dynamics.

Morocco, which is a model of a Muslim society open to the world, has made tolerance and living together an irreversible choice for over 12 centuries. As a result, the Kingdom is a hyphen between the African and European continents, a crossroads where diverse and different ethnic groups, cultures and languages can cohabitate.

Indeed, in Morocco, the people and the King are convinced that only tolerance, mutual respect, acceptance of the other allows us to live together in a peaceful world.

Let’s fight together, against the hatred speech and the obscurantist currents. Let’s strengthen the bridges of communication and knowledge. Together, we can build a better world where stability, peace and security should reign.

Long live the friendship, long live the cooperation and the partnership long live Morocco, long live Bulgaria!

The guests at the reception were delighted to taste the wonderful traditional Moroccan dishes, as well as the famous Moroccan Mint and Sweet Tea. 

The pictures are provided by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Bulgaria.