By Roy Lie Atjam
On 11 November 2022, the Ambassador of Algeria to the Netherlands, H.E. Salima Abdelhak, hosted a reception to celebrate Algeria’s 68th Anniversary of the outbreak of the Glorious Liberation Revolution in 1954. A large number of Ambassadors, the business community, Dutch government agents, the diaspora and scores of other persons attended the reception.
“It is indeed such a great privilege to welcome you all this evening in this magnificent mansion of Wassenaar to celebrate the 68 th anniversary of the Algerian revolution outbreak of November 1st, 1954. Tonight marks the first Algerian national day ceremony we have hosted since the start of the pandemic. I am, therefore, pleased that the global and local efforts to combat the pandemic have led to this moment, when we can once again gather in person.
First of all, allow me to express my sincere thanks to all of you for sparing time from your busy schedule, to grace this ceremony with your presence. I appreciate it very much!
68 years ago, the patriots proclaimed the Revolution and issued an appeal to the Algerian people calling on them to take up arms against one of the most powerful colonial power at that era. It proved to be a long struggle which lasted seven and a half years and left one and half million martyrs that enabled, eventually, the Algerian people to regain freedom and dignity and restore the sovereignty all over their territory.
The Algerian liberation war was, in fact, a turning point in the history of modern Algeria and yet a glimmer of hope for the rest of countries under colonial yoke, as it greatly contributed to the acceleration of decolonization process by enshrining the principle of people’s right to self-determination and independence, through the adoption of the Resolution 1514 (XV), on December 14th 1960”.
Besides colonised countries, the Algerian people’s struggle found favourable echo and gained enormous sympathy among other peoples from all walks of life, who had no qualms championing Algerian people right for freedom and justice since the very first day of the Revolution outbreak. Here in the Netherlands, we have managed to spot some Dutch friends who had honourable stance towards the Algerian cause, some of them unfortunately departed from this world and some others, may God grant them long life, are happily present here to share with us these moments of joy and pride.
I can mention Mrs Margareet Koekbakker, Mr Ep Bonemaan and Mr Van Der Tijn. To all of them, I would like to express once again our sincere thanks and deep gratitude for being always faithful to their principles and their unwavering attachment to Algeria.
Algeria celebrates this auspicious anniversary, amid tremendous efforts made by the incumbent President Abdelmadjid Tebboune who, since his election, conducted ambitious reforms covering most vital sectors.
These reforms evolved around providing business friendly-environment, diversifying the economy, boosting employment and improving life conditions in remote and rural areas, allowing Algeria to achieve, in a matter of few years, such a qualitative leap towards its economic and social renewal by moving firmly forward progress and sustainable growth.
As for foreign policy and driven by its own revolutionary history, Algeria has always advocated, since its accession to the United Nations, for full respect of the international law and legitimacy.
As matter of fact, promoting peace and stability, non-interference as well as respect of people’s right to self-determination constitute essential pillars of our diplomatic approach embodied in Algeria’s long standing record in bringing about peace, through mediation and negotiations, in many conflicts zone in Africa, the Arab world and beyond.
Committed to multilateralism, Algeria continues to be a leading voice on various topics such as peace, human rights, gender equality, climate change, counterterrorism, disarmament, and sustainable development.
All this made Algeria earn respect among its partners, illustrated recently by its well-deserved election as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the term 2023-2025 and its promising candidacy as a non-permanent member at the UN Security Council for the period 2024-2025.
Within its regional groups, Algeria is still playing an active role as the African Union coordinator on counterterrorism and get, positively, involved in many African issues. Moreover, my country hugely contributed, under the banner of the African Commission, in the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a market of 1, 2 billion consumers and total GDP of more than 3000 billion dollars, making it the second largest free trade zone in the world.
As an Arab state, it also hosted on November 1st and 2nd, after a 03 years hiatus, the 31st session of the Arab League Summit, against the backdrop of a raising global uncertainty and looming challenges.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Arab leaders unanimously adopted the Algiers Declaration, through which they took on various commitments and vowed to work hand in glove to tackle the ongoing issues on both regional and international stages.
On bilateral level, Algeria keeps building its relations with other countries on the traditional basis of mutual respect and non-interference in other countries affairs. On the other hand, our diplomacy apparatus is increasingly geared to forge win-win partnerships, attract foreign investments and boost trade exchange with reliable partners.
This year, Algeria and the Netherlands celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic relations. These relations actually date much farther back in history, given the conclusion of peace and trade treaties in the 17 century between the two countries.
The relations between our two countries have grown steadily since their establishment. Recently and after a two-year gap, in the aftermath of covid-19 outbreak across the globe, signs of an upturn in our ties have emerged and marked by a growing number of business and technical missions carried out on both sides, which aims essentially at exchanging expertise and setting up an effective business network between the two parties in key sectors like water resources management, renewable energy, agriculture, port management and so on
At official level, last month, President Tebboune had a phone conversation with Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, during which they discussed current status of bilateral relations and agreed to expand cooperation in the fields of economy, energy, investment education and training.
Earlier this week, the two leaders met in the side-lines of their participation to COP 27 Summit in Egypt where they vowed to strengthen political dialogue between the two countries and upgrade economic ties in various field. And today as we are gathered here, our Minister of foreign affairs Ramtane Lamamra has met his Dutch counterpart Wopke Hoekstra in Paris in the margin of the 5th Paris forum of peace.
To this end, high level visits from both parties are expected to take place in the upcoming months, particularly within the framework of the Joint Commission of Economic and Technical Cooperation and the Political Consultation between the two MFAs. These two mechanisms, I believe, are more than ever paramount for shaping a comprehensive mid-long- term vision of our relations and putting our commitments into concrete actions.
In this regard, I would like to seize this opportunity to renew my engagement to work relentlessly with my Dutch counterparts to reinforce existing ties between Algeria and The Netherlands, for the benefit of both peoples.
At the end, allow me to thank you once gain for kindly accepting our invitation and wish you a very nice evening”
Long live Algeria, Glory to our martyrs.
May the Friendship between Algeria and The Netherlands dwell forever !
The reception was actually an occasion for the Embassy to display the culinary delights of Algeria and its wonderfully colourful artistic, musical and dress aspects of its old-age traditions and ancestral culture.