National Day Message by H. E. Dr. Ahmed Al Madbuh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Palestine to the Republic of Bulgaria

The Palestinian Declaration of Independence, proclaimed by PLO President Yasser Arafat at the session of the Palestinian National Council held in Algiers in 1988, was an important step forward towards the successful Palestinian political and diplomatic action that put Palestine back on the geographical and political map of the world after the existence of our people was denied and its homeland was subjected to colonizing occupation and displacement in the beginning of the last century. Although occupation is still there, acts of recognition of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as capital succeed to one another. Bulgaria has been among the first to recognize the independence of the State of Palestine and its people’s right of self-determination on its own land that world Zionism describes as a "land without a people for a people without a land".

A full-fledged Palestinian embassy opened in Bulgaria and Palestinian Bulgarian relations knew a continuous development ever since. The Palestinian leadership has always been interested in staying in permanent contact with Bulgarian authorities and is working on a continuous basis to enhance bilateral ties. There has been an exchange of visits at different levels. When the PLO was in exile, Bulgaria provided serious support to our people in terms of education, military training, and in other fields. Bulgarian universities have trained outstanding professionals in various fields: many Palestinians who have graduated in Bulgaria are now holdingkey positions in politics, political parties, military hierarchy or security services of the Palestinian National Authority. Dozens of Palestinian students are currently being trained in Bulgaria. In addition, there is a strong Palestinian community, fully integrated in the Bulgarian society and working, together with the Embassy of the State of Palestine, to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two people.

After the Oslo agreement was signed and the PLO returned to the occupied Palestinian territories to build the Palestinian Authority there, Bulgaria continued to support our people, something that we shall always remember. Bulgarian political positions had a strong influence in the corridors of power at the United Nations and the European Union in support of the Palestinian cause and the two-State solution based on international law and relevant UN resolutions and in support of political negotiations with the Israeli party on the basis of international legality and the two-State solution, as well as in support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and against Israel’s settlement policy.

The opening of a diplomatic mission of Bulgaria in Palestine in 2007 was yet another step further in the development of bilateral relations in the field of politics, culture, education, and security. Our ambition is to extend the scope of this development to other fields such as industry, trade, science, modern technologies, programming, and agriculture.

On the day marking the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, we reaffirm that the solution to the Palestinian Israeli conflict lies in the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian State in the borders of 4 June 1967 with East Jerusalem as capital, and the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes according to UN Resolution 194. We count on Bulgaria’s resolute position on recurrent Israeli violations of the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights,as we also count on Bulgarian support for our people in the corridors of power regionally and internationally, in order to end occupation and achieve independence.

At the approach of the Nativity and New Year’s Day – the Nativity of Jesus Christ (peace be upon to him), who was born in Bethlehem, in Palestine, grew up on this land and from there rose to heaven, I take this opportunity to extend to the Palestinian people and the friendly Bulgarian people my warmest greetings and wishes for health, prosperity, deliverance from the pandemic, and a life in security, peace, love and tranquillity, as well as to wish the team of Diplomatic Spectrum a lot of success and prosperity.

The photo was provided by the Embassy of the State of Palestine in the Republic of Bulgaria.