On July 30th, H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Republic of Bulgaria, and her husband,

Mr. Chaib Lalouh, hosted a reception at the Moroccan residence on the occasion of the National Day of the Kingdom of Morocco. This year marks the 20th anniversary of King Mohammed VI's ascension to the throne. The reception was honored by hundreds of guests, including H. E. Mrs. Iliana Yotova Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ambassadors, members of the Parliament, deputy Ministers, diplomats, politicians, mayors, members of the Bulgarian-Moroccan Association and of the newly created Morocco-Bulgarian Chamber of commerce and industry, friends of Morocco and Moroccan nationals living in Bulgaria.

In her welcoming speech to the guests, H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui thanked everyone for their presence, and described the presence of the Vice President Mrs. Iliana Yotova as "an honor and a gesture of friendship". Because, as she explained: "Morocco and Bulgaria have maintained very good relations for more than half a century and continue to develop and consolidate them to expand to other sectors and areas of common interest.

These relations have regained strength in recent months thanks to high-level visits from both governments of our countries, which have forged a new dynamic partnership that has received a major boost thanks to the establishment, recently, of a joint Morocco-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry which aims to strengthen trade..."

E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui emphasized that Morocco has built its model of development on sustainability and this has helped to turn it into a pole of stability, democracy, solidarity and partnership, that Morocco is also a regional exception in its approach to the fight against intolerance, terrorism, extremism and radicalism in all their forms."Through a package of security and religious reform measures, the Kingdom strongly controls the terrorist threat posed by extremism and radicalism. Today, the Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Imams is undoubtedly the best example of our Sovereign's doctrinal commitment to a "Moderate Islam" and "against the spread of radical Islam".

Morocco, which is a model of a modern Muslim society open to the world, has made tolerance and coexistence an irreversible choice for more than 12 centuries. The Kingdom is therefore a link between the African and European continents, the crossroads where different and diverse ethnic groups, cultures and languages ​​meet and coexist."

In this context, Her Excellency mentioned Pope Francis' visit to Morocco on 30 and 31 March 2019 and his meeting with the Christian community there, which exceeds 30,000 people.

She stressed the important role of the Kingdom in conflict prevention, maintenance and peace-building with the United Nations Organization, that it enjoys cooperation in all fields - political, economic, cultural, scientific, and spiritual, with all continents and most countries, as well as being open to the international and regional environment.

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

It is thanks to the foresight, leadership and wisdom of His Majesty King Mohamed VI that despite an uncertain international context, marked by global challenges, seemingly insurmountable, the coexistence between cultures, religions and civilizations is one of Morocco’s characteristics captivated by universal human values.

During His 20-year reign, His Majesty King Mohammed VI inaugurated an innovative vision of national identity, that of unity in diversity, which promotes pluralism, dialogue between countries, peoples and civilizations, who are able to unite humanity despite its differences.

Our civilizations, our religions, our identities, our histories, our concerns and our challenges must not be exploited or held hostage to be put at the service of regression, denial, division and fear of the other.

Let us work together to combat hatred and the influence of ignorance. Let us strengthen our communication and knowledge bridges. Together, let us build a better world where stability, peace, security and love for one another reign", concluded her speech H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui.

From the Bulgarian side, Vice-President Mrs. Iliana Yotova congratulated everyone for the national holiday of the Kingdom of Morocco. She, as well, emphasized the traditional very good relations between the two countries, which are intensifying today, although the world is "increasingly divided, more complex, more dangerous and more difficult to understand". She also said that Morocco remains "an example of peaceful coexistence between cultures, religions, races and identities" and that despite its difficulties and geographical location; it manages to cope with the problems. She recalled that July 30th is a beautiful day – friendship day. "There is something very symbolic about this date that this day is celebrated and it is not only the Moroccan National day but also the day of all friends of Morocco in the world..." And she concluded, "Your Excellency, you are a great friend of Bulgaria and I had the opportunity to be convinced  of that many times. Thank you for all what you do for our bilateral relations. Through you, I would like to extend my congratulations to the whole Moroccan people on this beautiful National day."

After the official part, the guests enjoyed the traditional dishes of the country as well as the famous Moroccan tea. The hosts once again showed the renowned Moroccan hospitality, and the guests remembered or simply dreamed of the beautiful beaches of Casablanca and the colorfulness, aromas and splendour of the imperial cities…

Photos are provided by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in the Republic of Bulgaria.