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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: The Slovak Republic Embassy in Riyadh hosted a reception in the Ishbilia Compound’s Main Hall, marking Slovak National Day, which falls on Nov. 17.
“Today we celebrated National Day, the day of democracy, when we got rid of the previous system that was totalitarian,” Ambassador of the Slovak Republic Rudolf Michalka told Arab News.
The occasion commemorates the day Slovakia regained its freedom and began to build a democratic system.
Michalka explained that he hosted the reception as a way to introduce the Slovak Republic to others and celebrate the country.
“It is a day when we are all together and can celebrate my country through our friendship,” Michalka said.
“This is the one day I can host all of these people and I can show my respect to all of them as they show respect to me and my country.”
Many guests attended the reception including ambassadors, businessmen, and friends of the embassy.
“We don’t exclude anybody; all of the embassies are of course invited,” Michalka said.
“I keep very good relations with all of the embassies in Riyadh, and I was very happy to see them here,” the ambassador said.
Among the attendees were the ambassadors of the EU, China and African and Middle Eastern nations.
On behalf of Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Undersecretary of the Riyadh Region Dr. Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al-Sudairi attended the ceremony on Sunday. A number of other figures also attended the ceremony including Ali Al-Shehri from the General Department of Diplomatic Corps Affairs.
Al-Sudairi took part in a cake-cutting ceremony following the ambassador’s introductory speech.
The ambassador highlighted that the Slovak Republic Embassy has only been open for one year, and he hopes to make tourism and cultural exchange one of the many areas in which cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Slovakia can be strengthened.
“I hope we will have more and more tourists from your country, more businessmen from your country, more officials from your country, and vice versa,” Michalka said.
“This is my goal. This is what I will be working on for the next three years,” he added.
“I understand that my country is not that well known, and this is a chance to present who we are. We have beautiful nature, we have very nice people, and we try to invite Saudis to visit my country.”
The ambassador said that people from Slovakia are eager to visit Saudi Arabia because they “love the desert, the warm seas and especially the warm people.”
As a part of the celebrations, the reception also offered a dinner featuring many Slovak dishes and desserts.
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