On July 23, 1952, the July Revolution in Egypt erupted. Under the leadership of Gamal Abdel Nasser,

the Egyptian people gained their independence, and shortly afterwards, in 1953, the country was declared a Republic. July 23rd, is the National Day of the country. On this occasion H. E. Mr. Moayad Fathallah Eldalie, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the Republic of Bulgaria, and his wife, Mrs. Mai Salaheldin Mahmoud Sayed, hosted a reception at Sofia Hotel Balkan.

In his welcoming speech, the Ambassador first thanked the Bulgarian people for the cordiality, kindness and hospitality that he and his family felt during their stay here. Then he focused on the progress of Egypt:

Following the revolutions of 2011 and 2013, Egypt has embarked on an owned economic reform program since 2015, complemented with a "Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030" launched in 2016 to act as a roadmap to achieve competitive, balanced and diversified economy, dependent on specific pillars including innovation and knowledge, justice, social integrity and participation, with a view to fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of Egyptian people.

As part of the 2030 Vision, the state has executed infrastructure and mega projects to serve the public and investors including the opening of a landmark $8.6 billion expansion of the 145-year old Suez Canal as part of establishing the Suez Canal Economic Zone as a vibrant hub for international commerce that will connect 1.6 billion consumers across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Gulf to Egypt’s own growing market of more than 100 million people.

With a rising population, the government has announced the establishment of several new cities, namely, the New Administrative Capital, the New Ismailia City, the New Alamein City, and an Integrated City at Al-Galala, East Port Said City.

With regard to the Energy sector, December 2017, operations began at Egypt’s massive Zohr gas field, with an initial output of 350 million cubic feet per day. By the end of 2019, Zohr is expected to produce up to 2.7 billion cubic feet per day. Egypt achieved self-sufficiency in natural gas in March this year.

The developments in Egypt are immense and the Mega Projects cover many areas such as roads and transport, renewable energy, agriculture, industry and tourism. This all is supported with legislative and institutional reforms as well as incentives for investors.

Egypt, as chair of the African Union for the year 2019, focuses on number of priorities stemming from the AU’s Agenda 2063 including building bridges between African peoples, peace and security, economic and regional integration, and institutional and financial reform of the African Union. Egypt reaffirms its commitment to harness its power and expertise to advance African joint Action. I have the honor to announce that the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area has been launched during the extraordinary summit held on 7 July 2019 in Niamey, Niger, and in this regard, Egypt emphasizes the need to building networks with all relevant stakeholders whether governments, international financial institutions, or non-governmental organizations, and in other words enhancing the AU’s existing international partnerships with the International community and development partners.

The Ambassador also emphasized on the bilateral relations between Egypt and Bulgaria, which have been developing progressively for more than 90 years:

During the past few months, Egypt and Bulgaria exchanged high level visits. H. E. President of the Republic of Bulgaria visited Cairo in March 2019, before that the visit of H. E. the Prime Minister of Bulgaria to Cairo in October 2018.

In November 2018, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, visited Sofia followed by the visit of Egyptian Minister of Investment and International cooperation and last June the Minister of Tourism visited Sunny Beach and Burgas.

These visits witnessed the launching of Egyptian-Bulgarian Business Council as well as signing a number of MoUs in different fields including Agriculture and Tourism.

Trade volume between Egypt and Bulgaria approached 1 billion US $ during past years making Egypt the largest Economic partner for Bulgaria in Africa and the Middle East. Yet, there is great potential to increase this volume particularly in fields such as petrochemical industries, IT, tourism and textiles.

The Field of Cultural Cooperation is one of the most important and dynamic dimensions of our bilateral relations as both countries are blessed with rich cultural heritage and attach great importance to interactions and exchanges between their peoples as this helps introducing each country's culture and civilization to the other, and as an example, the performance of SOHAG folklore group who are visiting Bulgaria now to participate in Veliko Tarnovo Folklore Festival, and also Burgas is hosting an exhibition for King Tutankhamun which is under the theme "Unfinished Love Story".

To conclude, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to all of you for being here and sharing with us our celebrations, and to express my sincere hope that the Relations between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Republic of Bulgaria will witness more development and improvement.

And before I end my speech, I would also like to emphasize the positive role of all staff of the Embassy and the Egyptian Community in Bulgaria that maintain a crucial link for the people to people relations, as well as steering the cultural, economic, and touristic interaction between Egypt and Bulgaria.

At the end of his speech H. E. Mr. Moayad Fathallah Eldalie invited the guests to cut the cake, decorated personally by his wife, as a gift to all.

Beautiful musical and dance greeting to the guests was presented by the singer Rosalina Kasabova, who performed "Fatma" by the famous Egyptian composer Omar Khayrat.

Among the numerous guests who attended the reception were Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, official representatives of the Presidency of the Republic of Bulgaria, Parliament, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassadors, diplomats, cultural figures, journalists and friends of Egypt. They had the opportunity to taste the unique specialties of traditional Egyptian cuisine.

Photos are provided by the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in the Republic of Bulgaria.