On 24 December, the State of Libya celebrates its national holiday, Independence Day.

On this occasion H. E. Mr. Abu Baker A. Saeed Saleh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Libya to the Republic of Bulgaria gave a reception on 21 December at Ramada Hotel Sofia.
After hearing the anthems of the two countries, H. E. Mr. Abu Baker A. Saeed Saleh delivered a welcoming address on the occasion of the 71st anniversary of Libya's independence:

Your Excellencies,

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

On the occasion of the 71st anniversary of the declaration of independence of Libya, it is my pleasure to welcome you and at the same time express my satisfaction and appreciation that you have honored us with your presence today, devoting some of your time to be with us and to celebrate this auspicious occasion.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The poet has said:

The sun rose above us that day and shone upon us

And sent a blessing to our lands and greeted us.

The motherland is not just a piece of land on which we live, but represents an entity that lives within us, and the independence day is not like the other days of the year and the history associated with it is not just a history, but a feat accomplished by great men. Therefore most nations around the world celebrate the date of their independence as a holiday that heralds a new beginning filled with hopes for a bright future.

December 24th is the day of the independence of Libya, an independence achieved at the cost of a great struggle led by the Libyan people under the leadership of the first among the martyrs, Omar Almukhtar. This date marks the end of a political struggle culminating in the achievement of our political independence, which King Idris al-Senussi announced on this day in 1951, telling the Libyan people and the world that Libya is now an independent and sovereign state.

And regardless of the fact that the country on the eve of its independence was mired in poverty and did not have a large population, its sincere children managed to lay the foundations of constitutionalism in the country at the beginning of the second half of the last century.

Dear guests,

The state of Libya and the Republic of Bulgaria are linked by strong ties and relations that began about 60 years ago and since their establishment during the time of the monarchy in 1963, these relations have undergone a rise and development in various spheres, among them economic, commercial, technical and educational, and their apogee was in the 80s and 90s of the last century when numerous bilateral agreements and contracts were signed between Libya and Bulgaria.

Whit a view to strengthen its friendly relations with the Republic of Bulgaria, Libya has raised the level of diplomatic representation to the level of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary and we confirm our aspiration to develop bilateral relations in all spheres and to work in order to accomplish the tasks assigned to us in a mutually beneficial way for the benefit of the interests of both countries.

And here I will not miss the chance to thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Bulgaria and the official government appointed by him for the good cooperation we have received from them since we assumed our official duties in the month of September.

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

Our country is going through a period that requires us to be united and to act as one in order to unify and affirm the principles of national reconciliation for the progress and rise of Libya. And on this occasion, I would like to express my gratitude to the friendly and brotherly countries and the international community for standing by the Libyan people in the process of building a democratic and civil society in our country.

In conclusion, we congratulate you and offer you our warmest and heartiest greetings on the occasion of the arrival of the new year, wishing that the new year will bring peace, joy and security all around the world.

I wish you a happy new year!!!

After His Excellency's speech, the guests watched a short film about Libya and its beauties and achievements. Then they tasted the superb specialties of Arab cuisine.

Photos are provided by the Embassy of the State of Libya in the Republic of Bulgaria. Above: H. E. Mr. Abu Baker A. Saeed Saleh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Libya to the Republic of Bulgaria