Ambassador Ammar said the words have become dear to her people since the proclamation of Tunisia’s independence on this date in March 1956, and it remains important to remember those who fought to end France’s colonialism and built a strong and wide national unity, under the guidance of leader Habib Bourguiba.

"The actors of our independence struggled for the country’s freedom and sovereignty," the ambassador said. "They founded a state nation, rooted in republican values within a modern constitution. These leaders, so close to their people, started very early a deep reformist process for women’s emancipation, family evolution and education policy. They adopted also a clever and visionary foreign policy."

Ambassador Ammar said that thanks to all Tunisian reformists throughout the country’s history and to those who constructed the national identity, Tunisia had established solid state institutions, and developed a comprehensive system of education, and modern social and welfare policies. Important infrastructures and a market economy had been set up.

Building on this strong and rich heritage, and owing to the integration of young Tunisians to the digital technologies of communication, the country had been able to break up with dictatorship, eight years ago, and to initiate a process for democratic transition.

The second Constitution after independence, adopted in 2014, affirms adhesion to values of democracy, a secular state, pluralism and universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, the ambassador said.

"In such a long-term process, we are learning how to build a real democracy, with strong republican institutions; to achieve an effective state of law. We are experimenting how to implement universal human rights and freedoms; to ensure social cohesion, stability, economic growth and sustainable development; to preserve and promote an inclusive humanist society."

"This is our way to be Tunisian, to be united for the vital interests of our nation."

"Women’s and young people’s active commitment to public life including leadership positions is on the rise. Awareness on their part about equal rights and opportunities and full citizenship is increasing. Women and young people represent such an incredible force for proposing ideas and producing wealth. They constitute, indeed, a powerful potential of electors."

Legislative and presidential elections will be held at the end of this year in Tunisia.

Ambassador Ammar continued: "May the values of patriotism, statehood and progress continue to motivate all Tunisians, in order to develop our modern social model and to preserve it against any kind of obscure and destructive ideologies and extremism."

"Despite many huge challenges, on political, economic and social levels, deep reforms are being gradually implemented in the framework of a lively national debate at all levels."

"Furthermore, security is increasingly improved. More than ever, we are committed in preventing and fighting efficiently terrorism, criminality and illegal mass migration."

"Tunisia is in a crucial crossroad of its transition and deserves full support, considering its strategic location, in the Mediterranean between Africa and Europe."

The ambassador said she wished to express her deep appreciation to the Hungarian authorities for the clever and continuous support given to her country, since the beginning of its process of transition.

"During the last three years, Tunisia and Hungary achieved important steps. We enhanced our bilateral relations by successful and regular exchanges of high-level visits, pursuing a constructive political dialogue, setting a new legal framework for our cooperation in many sectors and identifying opportunities for trade and investment."

"We also improved common perception, facilitated people-to-people contacts, especially through cooperation in tourism and high-level education, aiming to strengthen our cultural bonds."

The ambassador said that in January 2019, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó had visited Tunisia for the third time. It had been another significant opportunity to reinforce political dialogue on security and economic cooperation.

At the end of April 2019, the Tunisian Embassy would hold in Budapest the fourth session of the Joint Economic Commission and a Joint Business Forum: two important events that would boost trade and cultural exchanges, as well as opportunities and complementarities for fruitful partnership and business.

"On behalf of all Tunisians students in Hungary, I would like to express our appreciation to the Hungarian government for given them increasing opportunity to pursue studies and seek knowledge in many universities under the Stipendium Hungaricum program."

"Tunisian students have the ambition to create ties and build bridges between the cultures of our friendly countries. They will constitute in the future a wide network of Alumni. Let’s give them our full support."

Ambassador Ammar then introduced a special event, "Mediterranean", an operatic concert organised as a partnership between famous artists from Tunisia, Spain and Hungary. This choice was to designed to emphasise the Mediterranean roots of the Tunisian identity, opened to all forms of artistic expression.

The concert was performed by Tunisian national soprano Yosra Zekri, conducted by Antonio Cuenca, accompanied by Mehdi Trabelsi on piano, with Abdelkader Ibn Hadj Kacem on percussion, Jovan Milosevski on guitar and Toni Cuenca Junior on drums. The choir was from the Tunisian High Level Institute of Music and comprised Fatma Gabsi, soprano ; Amira Louribi, soprano; Maram Bouhbel, mezzo soprano; Khawla Tawes, soprano; Youssef Ben Abderrazek, tenor; Ayman Bida, tenor; Nader Trabelsi, tenor; and Rami Ourabi, baritone.

Musicians from the Budafok Dohnányi Orchestra played: Szepesi Bence, clarinet; Bánhegyi Tünde, violin; Helecz Dániel, cello; Kalla-Tóta Hajnalka, violin; Kanyó Dávid, flute; Markó János, viola; Szokola János, french horn; and Botár Bence, bass.

The program included a selection of short pieces from classical lyric opera and a selection of Tunisian opera about history, freedom, patriotism, women and peace, partly written by Emna Rmili, who was in attendance.

Pianist Mehdi Trabelsi paid tribute to Béla Bartók by performing the Hungarian composer’s Romanian folk dances.

The ambassador said such a selection aimed to enhance the value of cultural diversity and music as a powerful vector of exchange and communication beyond all borders.


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