|Merriment: Palestinian students celebrate on their graduation day. — Photo courtesy of Palestine Embassy
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Palestine Revolution, January 1, 1965, and the celebration of the new year, Palestinian Ambassador Saadi Salama sends Viet Nam News readers his warmest greetings in the following message.
As Palestinian people, we are proud of our multi-faith heritage and share in these special celebrations, remembering the richness and the diversity of Palestine's holy places and religious traditions. Recognising the birth of Jesus, Christmas celebrations in the ancient Palestinian town of Bethlehem attract both Christians and Muslims.
Celebrating hope, joy, love and the promise of peace, the ages-old message of Christmas speaks to the world today as we work hopefully into the future to see peace prevail in our land, Palestine. I look forward to the New Year as a year of peace and prosperity for all people in the world, and a year that brings our full independent, secure and sovereign Palestinian state closer.
When in Palestine, if you say you are a Vietnamese, you will be welcome as a distinguished guest. For those in the land that is still in search of independence, the two words "Viet Nam" has become a symbol of struggling spirit for the national sacred peace.
And not only does Viet Nam occupy a special place in the hearts of Palestinian people, there is a widespread admiration in Palestine and the Arab world, cutting across political boundaries, for indomitable spirit of its people and the grit with which they have overcome all odds through out their history.
Palestine and Viet Nam celebrated the 26th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations over a month ago.
But November 19, 1988 was by no means the beginning of the two countries' relationship. Political ties between Palestine and Viet Nam long preceded the establishment of full diplomatic relations and were very strong already in the sixties of the last century.
The sentiments, solidarity and friendship that Vietnamese people have given to Palestine's legitimate struggle over decades have become a strong motivation for the two countries to overcome geographical distances to get closer and further promote this special friendship.
Vietnamese people's suffering during their struggle against invaders to protect the homeland sovereignty and territorial integrity resembles what Palestinian people has been facing.
Thus, Viet Nam's achievements in the course of industrialisation and modernisation have been an enormous encouragement for Palestinian people to remain determined and keep faith with the future independence of their homeland.
This resemblance has also served as a driving force for Viet Nam and Palestine to further enhance and develop friendship and co-operation in all fields, despite the fact that Palestine is still occupied and not yet an independent state with fundamental self-determined rights due to the repeated collapse of the peace process.
We regret the lack of implementation of the countless resolutions regarding the question of Palestine, a fact that has clearly compounded the conflict over the many decades. Meanwhile, we are very grateful for the many expressions and actions of solidarity with the Palestinian people extended from all the peoples of the world.
I wish here to recognise the changes in the Western world where popular sentiment has reached the official political levels. Sweden moved ahead bravely in this regard with its recognition of the State of Palestine, and we hope that other European countries will follow suit.
Here we also recognise the important and overwhelming motions in support of recognition of the State of Palestine by the parliaments in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, France, Portugal and other European countries in this regard.
We are deeply appreciative of all of these positive developments, which enhance the opportunities for peace, security and stability in the region.
In spite of all challenges, hardship and setbacks, Palestinian people look forward with great hope to the future. We are determined to remain steadfast on our land and realise our inalienable rights, confident that the international community will stand with right and justice, so that hope, freedom, peace and security can prevail, and that will ensure a better future for all of our children.
Palestinian people have never forgotten President Ho Chi Minh's words: "There is nothing more precious than independence and freedom".
Hope that those Independence and Freedom days will come to peace-loving Palestinian people in a near future. We, as our poet Mahmoud Darwish said: "are infected with an incurable disease, that is HOPE, and we love life if we are given the chance for it". — VNS