On the occasion of Egypt's National Day today, Egyptian Ambassador to Viet Nam Reda El Taify addresses the readers of Viet Nam News
|Egyptian Ambassador to Viet Nam Reda El Taify. — Photo courtesy of Egyptian Embassy
On 23rd of July, Egypt commemorates the 60th Anniversary of July revolution (1952-2012), a landmark event in the country's history that changed life and the destiny of Egypt by paving the way for all Egyptians to have the right to dignity and honour after many years of suffering from oppression, occupation and exploitation.
The glorious July revolution enabled Egyptians to break the shackles of colonisation and remains a milestone in the history of independence movements, confronting colonialism and foreign domination not only in Egypt but across the "Third World".
Despite achievements in ending colonialism and feudalism, building a strong national army, reallocating land and reclaiming the desert, the revolution couldn't succeed in achieving the aspirations of the Egyptian people for equality, social justice and a democratic political life. This came almost 50 years later with the January 25 Revolution in 2011.
The impressive revolution of January 25 was pushed by a mass popular movement led by the youth and comprising all political forces and segments of Egyptian society. The movement demanded dignity, equality, freedom, democracy and a better future for a new Egypt.
Therefore, our celebration this year is an extraordinary celebration as it combines the first anniversary of the January 25 revolution and many important developments on the Egyptian political scene. Egypt witnessed during the last few months its most democratic, free and transparent elections yet.
For the first time we are proud of our electoral process as just three weeks ago, the first ever freely elected president, Mohamed Morsy, in our modern history, took the constitutional oath on June 30 before the Supreme Constitutional Court, stating in his inauguration speech.
Egypt today is a nation that is a civil, constitutional and modern state. This is the way our country is being reborn, with its people and the beliefs of its citizens and institutions.
Today, the Egyptian people have established a new life with complete and real democracy and freedom to uphold high the concept of institutions and stability.
The Egyptian revolution is sending a message of peace across the entire world. Egypt will maintain all its commitments in international treaties and agreements and we will work together to ensure the respect of freedom and human rights, especially the rights of women, and children, and to eliminate all forms of discrimination.
Egypt will continue its mission to establish balanced relations with all countries on the basis of mutual respect, reciprocal interests and not to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.
A Constituent Assembly was elected to outline the new constitution of Egypt. The Assembly has already started its sessions with the assistance of experts in all domains to draft a constitution reflecting a national consensus and establishing a constitutional democratic national State together with maintaining the identity of the nation and basic elements of the society, and safeguarding public and private freedoms.
Despite this, Egypt faces remarkable challenges as the economy is going through a critical period. The effects of the current slowdown are most visible in terms of foreign direct investments inflows, current domestic and external public dept, falling official foreign reserves, increasing unemployment and shrinking GDP, along with tremendous pressure on the balance of payment.
Moreover, meeting the high expectations of the public, responding to the demands of some segments of Egyptian society and regaining tourism flows are considered as prerequisites to move the economy forward as a whole and to pass the current transitional phase safely.
Bilaterally, this occasion is also a great opportunity to celebrate relations between Egypt and Viet Nam as by 2013 we will commemorate the 50th anniversary of bilateral ties. It is a time to reaffirm the bonds of friendship that have united our two countries for many years and to start a new era of effective co-operation in all different aspects of bilateral relations "economically, politically and culturally", to meet the potentials and aspirations of our two peoples and countries.
In 2011, bilateral trade turnover reached US$280 million, an increase of 500 per cent against 2006. Culturally, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism participated for the first time at the HCM Travel Expo, hosting a successful workshop between officials and tour operators about the potentials of that promising sector as well as organising an Egyptian cultural night in the beautiful capital of Ha Noi. In addition, the Viet Nam University of Fine Arts hosted in Ha Noi an Egyptian Exhibition under the name "Artists of Alexandria" with the participation of a visiting Egyptian professor.
Finally, on that happy note, may I wish happiness, health and prosperity for the Egyptian and Vietnamese leadership, governments and peoples. — VNS