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National Day Message by H. E. Mrs. Donika Hoxha, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Albania to the Republic of Bulgaria

Happy Independence Day, Albania!

28th of November 2020 marks the National Day of Albania, which is known as Flag Day also. On 28th of November 1912, Albania proclaimed its independence becoming a new independent country in the world after a long battle related to the cause of its existence. 

On this day, we prefer to celebrate together with family and friends, sharing the stories of the past and being proud of our belongings, history, culture and tradition. In our home or workplace windows, you can find an Albanian flag, which represents the celebration for our National Day since the beginning of November.

Albania and Bulgaria have many things in common, including history, culture, tradition and nature, where you can escape for some hours and enjoy the peaceful sound of the beauty. Bilateral relation between Albania and Bulgaria dates back in 1922. The diplomatic offices were latter opened in both our countries and since then excellent traditional and friendly relation further developed between our two countries and people.

We must not forget that Sofia was shelter to the activities of the Albanian patriots in their fight towards independence. One of the first publishing houses, Mbrodhësija of these Albanian patriots was established in Sofia and one of the first primaries, Abetarja of Albanian language was published in 1899 and it is now preserved at the National Library of Bulgaria.

In the Bulgarian National Art Gallery, you can find paintings of the modernistic artist and the daughter of Albanian immigrants, Lika Yanko. She is often referred to "Picasso on dress" by art critics.

And, we have also an Albanian Diaspora, a small one in Bulgaria, in south most Bulgaria region, in the village of Mandritsa. They speak the ancient Albanian language and they sing in Albanian and they also wear traditional custumes. They cook some delicious Albanian dishes. Next vacation, make sure to check this small village in Bulgaria, which is spiritually connected to Albania.

Bulgaria has supported Albania integration into NATO and is one of our strongest supporters to our path towards EU`s membership. We will always be grateful to Bulgaria and our Bulgarian friends for that and we will never forget their assistance and support as well as their solidarity during the earthquake, that hit Albania last year and during the pandemic.

2020 has been a proficuous year in strengthening of our bilateral relations. President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev visited Albania, and the Acting Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Gent Cakaj visited Bulgaria. Two agreements were signed in the fields of tourism and water management and environment and the negotiations are ongoing for 4 agreements.

During the first 6 months, our trade exchanges increased by 8% compared to 2019, despite the pandemic.

Bulgarian tourists visiting Albania have grown by 34.5% during 2019 compared to 2018 and we wish this trend will continue after the pandemic.

Still, more is to be done to bring closer our people and businesses. Albania and the Albanians will continue to consolidate their friendship and in the meantime, consolidate democracy and show their commitments to the world.

Happy National Day Beautiful Albania! Happy 108thanniversary of Independence!

The photo is provided by the Embassy of the Republic of Albania to the Republic of Bulgaria. On it: H. E. Mrs. Donika Hoxha, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Albania to the Republic of Bulgaria