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On December 5th, 2016 the Embassy of the State of Palestine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria and the United Nations organized the celebration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People – November 29th.

The Concert Hall of the Central Military Club was overcrowded. Ambassadors, diplomats, journalists, friends of Palestine attended the event carried out with the kind sponsorship of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria.

1. E. Dr. Ahmed al Madbuh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Palestine and the dean of the diplomatic corps in Bulgaria, opened the solemn evening with a speech, welcoming guests and conveyed "the greetings of the Palestinian people, who look forward to your efforts and support on this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People to enable them to exercise their right to self-determination and end the Israeli occupation of the land of the State of Palestine so that our people can live in freedom and dignity in their own country like all other peoples across the globe.“
2. E. Dr. Ahmed al Madbuh recalled some historical dates related to the Question of Palestine which is not yet resolved.

„From our side, we continue to extend our hand in peace, and call on the international community to uphold its responsibilities, including by adopting a Security Council resolution to end settlement activities, the main obstacle and the greatest threat to the achievement of peace. We also call on it to provide international protection to our people. We call for the early convening of the international peace conference and the setting up of an international mechanism and a timeframe for ending the Israeli occupation...

We reaffirm today our gratitude to the Bulgarian authorities, civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations in Bulgaria and to all brothers and friends and to all freedom and peace loving peoples across the world that has stood by the side of the Palestinian people. We appreciate their solidarity and support to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and their legitimate national aspirations, including achieving their freedom and independence and a just and lasting peace...

We are working faithfully for our State to be free and democratic, and to uphold the principles of transparency and accountability, the rule of law, protect and strengthen women rights, equality and non-discrimination based on ethnic and religious grounds and to spread a culture of peace, tolerance and dialogue. We have demonstrated, especially throughout the last years, the commitment of the State of Palestine to international law and its contribution to strengthening its rule and its active role in the international instruments it has acceded to. We have also chosen, in the exercise of the Palestinian people's right to resist occupation, peaceful and legal means to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people...

The question of Palestine has remained a standing item and a priority on the United Nations agenda since its inception and this institution has adopted resolutions and recommendations that constitute a solid basis not to be circumvented in the pursuit of just and lasting peace. We reaffirm the permanent responsibility of the United Nations towards the question of Palestine until a comprehensive solution is found, in accordance with international law and relevant United Nations resolutions...

The State of Palestine has always strived in good faith to achieve peace. The State of Palestine will continue to work to obtain full membership of the United Nations and will pursue its accession to international agencies and conventions to safeguard and promote the rights of the Palestinian people and to enhance the pillars and universality of international law and will continue defending its people by all legal and peaceful means…“

On the Bulgarian side, a welcoming speech has been pronounced by Mr. Nikolay Nikolov, Head of the „Middle East and Africa“ Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ms. María Jesús Conde, UNICEF Representative in Bulgaria, also expressed the solidarity of the institution she is representing with the Palestinian people and its children.

Further in the evening the floor has also been taken by Mr. Ivan Ivanov, Chairman of the Parliamentary Group for Friendship between Bulgaria and Palestine and Mr. Slavcho Velkov, President of the Association for Friendship and Co-operation with the Palestinian people.

After welcoming was finished, the solemn evening continued with a concert, performed by students from the National School of Dance Art (NSDA), the National School of Music „Lyubomir Pipkov“. Marvellous have been the performances of the Plovdiv Art Group “Slavena” and the Ensemble for Fork Dances „Kiril Haralampiev“.

Photos have been kindly provided by the Embassy of the State of Palestine in the Republic of Bulgaria.