A Celebration of Unity, Heritage and Pride

Edited by Anna Popper

The National Day of the State of Kuwait, observed annually on 25 February, is a time for the nation to commemorate its rich history and resilient spirit. On this special holiday, Kuwait honours the legacy of its leaders, particularly the highly esteemed late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah (1895-1965), who served as Kuwait’s first Emir. Sheikh Abdullah’s visionary leadership was instrumental in guiding Kuwait to independence from British rule in 1961.

In addition, February 25 holds significance as Liberation Day in Kuwait. This date marks the end of the Gulf War and the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi invasion in 1991. It symbolizes the nation’s triumph over adversity and the restoration of its sovereignty and independence. Together, these occasions are a profound expression of Kuwaitis’ national identity, reflecting their history, to celebrate their achievements and reaffirm their commitment to progress and prosperity based on peace, friendship, tolerance and cooperation.

On the occasion of the 63rd Anniversary of Independence Day and the 33rd Anniversary of the Liberation of Kuwait, H.E. Mr. Saad Al Asousi – Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to Hungary and Mrs. Al Asousi graciously hosted a grand reception at the prestigious Ritz Carlton Budapest. The event was attended by distinguished Hungarian officials, including the Guest of Honour, Mr. Tamás Vargha, State Secretary and Deputy Minister of the Hungarian Ministry of Defence, esteemed members of the diplomatic corps, prominent figures from business, culture and academia, as well as Kuwaiti nationals.

The commemoration started with the national anthems,

and was followed by the greetings and solemn address of Ambassador Saad Al Asousi:

“On behalf of the esteemed members of the Embassy of the State of Kuwait to Hungary, I would like to extend a warm welcome and express our heartfelt gratitude for your presence at our celebration honouring the 63rd National Day and the 33rd Liberation Day of the State of Kuwait.

As Kuwait celebrates its National Day this year, alongside the ascension to the power of His Highness the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, may God safeguard and protect him, the nation embrace the “Renewed Covenant” slogan, pledging to uphold its commitment and fulfil its obligations with unwavering dedication. We eagerly anticipate His Highness’ visionary leadership that will propel Kuwait to an even higher position of global and regional prominence.

On this momentous occasion, allow me to extend my heartfelt congratulations and blessings to His Highness the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and His Highness the Crown Prince, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah; may God safeguard and preserve them. I also extend my warmest wishes to the honourable people of Kuwait and all those residing in its blessed lands. Furthermore, I unequivocally reaffirm the significance of dedicating our utmost efforts to building the nation of tomorrow, unwaveringly upholding its renaissance across all fields.

Our gathering today also provides a perfect occasion to mark the enduring, mutually beneficial and historically significant friendship between Kuwait and Hungary, as we celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations. Over these six decades, our bilateral ties have blossomed and strengthened in various sectors, reflecting a remarkable path of growth and cooperation that align with the shared interests of our two friendly nations and their respective peoples.

Despite the global challenges, economic crises and regional instability, we remain committed to overcoming these challenges and implementing the agreements between our two countries, particularly those related to economic and investment cooperation. Our goal remains to elevate our collaboration to the level of trade and economic partnerships, while also promoting the exchange of experiences among technical and scientific institutions.

Thus, the recent visit of His Excellency Mr. Tamás Vargha, leading the Hungarian delegation to the Joint Economic Committee, to the State of Kuwait, served to reaffirm the shared views and consensus between Kuwait and Hungary on various issues. As a result of this visit, preparations have been made for the signing of several bilateral agreements, including the Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation, the Agreement on the Promotion of Mutual Investment, the Memorandum on Cultural Cooperation and Cybersecurity, and a Memorandum of Understanding between the Kuwaiti Diplomatic Institute and the Hungarian Institute of Foreign Affairs.

In addition, the visit of His Excellency Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Sabah, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Budapest last July significantly enhanced the existing strong ties between our two countries. This visit facilitated a comprehensive review of bilateral affairs, highlighting the aligned viewpoints and positions of our two friendly countries on various regional and global matters. Furthermore, a notable agreement was signed with the objective of promoting tourism between our nations. We expect a substantial increase in the number of tourists from the State of Kuwait this year, attributed to the recently implemented streamlined entry procedures for Kuwaiti nationals. Moreover, as part of ongoing endeavours to enhance our bilateral cooperation, His Excellency Mr. Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, is anticipated to honour the invitation to visit Kuwait in the upcoming spring.

I am grateful for your presence on this meaningful occasion, and I am confident that relations between Hungary and Kuwait will continue to thrive and strengthen.

In conclusion, I would like to express my gratitude to the staff at the Embassy for their hard work in making this event successful. Special thanks to the Ritz Carlton Hotel management and technical assistance team, as well as everyone else who contributed to the success of this event. Peace and Blessings upon you!

In his speech, Mr. Tamás Vargha, State Secretary and Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Defence of Hungary, extended his congratulations to the leaders and citizens of Kuwait on this significant milestone. He commended Kuwait for its remarkable progress, resilience and unwavering development, highlighting its prominent position both regionally and internationally. Adding that as Kuwait marks another year of accomplishments, it reiterates its dedication to continue its journey towards advancement and ensuring prosperity for all its inhabitants.

The State Secretary also stressed the importance of the 60-year diplomatic relations and friendship between Kuwait and Hungary. Over the years, the two nations have collaborated on various fronts, including trade and cultural exchanges, and deepened their political and economic ties, which has been a significant aspect. Both countries have shown commitment to strengthening their bilateral relations through mutual respect and understanding. The State Secretary added: “Our bilateral relations have developed diamantly in the past few years especially in the fields of education and healthcare. The Hungarian-Kuwaiti Joint Economic Commission (JEC) serves as a stable cornerstone of our bilateral relations.”

(The State of Kuwait was the first country in the Gulf region to establish diplomatic relations with Hungary in 1964. Shortly after the establishment of diplomatic relations, Hungary opened a Trade Office in 1966 and the Hungarian Embassy was inaugurated in 1975 in the Gulf state. Hungary’s Eastern Opening policy – launched in 2012 – gave further impetus to the development of bilateral cooperation.)

The formal proceedings concluded with a ceremonial cake cutting and exchange of symbolic gifts, representing their respective nations, which was followed by a lavish reception, offering exquisite delicacies from Kuwaiti cuisine.

The National Day celebratory event provided an opportunity to foster bilateral ties and friendship, celebrate shared values and honour the remarkable journey of Kuwait from independence and liberation to progress and a bright future.

Source: Embassy of the State of Kuwait in Budapest

Photos by the Embassy of the State of Kuwait in Budapest and DPA