Letter from His Excellency, the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Lebanon on the Diplomatic Reception of the 72nd Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia 2017
Phoenicia Hotel on 3rd October 2017
Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu
His Excellency the minister of State for Presidential Affairs. Mr. Pierre Raffoul, the representative of the President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Aoun, and His Excellency, Mr. Ammar Houri, Member of Parliament, representing the Prime Minister Mr. Saad El Hariri,
His Excellency, Mr. Mohammad Kabbani, Member of Parliament, the representative of the speaker of the parliament, Mr. Nabih Berri,
His Eminence Syeikh Abdul Hadi Khatib, representing the Grand Mufti of the Lebanese Republic Sheikh Abdel Latif Daryan,
Excellencies, Members of Parliament and Officials from the Lebanese government,
Honorable Sheikhs, Muftis, Judges, Heads of Associations and Religious Figures
Honorable Presidents of Universities and Professors,
Excellencies, my friends the Ambassadors of friendly nations,
And to all distinguished Ladies and Gentlements,
Allow me, on this occasion, to express my gratitude and appreciation, for accepting our invitation and joining us today in celebrating the 72nd Anniversary of Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia.
In particular, I would like to extend my appreciation and respect to the President of the Lebanese Republic, the Head of the Council of Ministers, the Speaker of the Parliament, the Heads of Security Agencies, and to all the entities in Lebanon, for what they offered in terms of cooperation and support for facilitating my diplomatic mission as the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia.
Respectively, I would like to thank all Lebanese people, the Scholars and Religious Figures, the Presidents of Universities, Business people, and all the components of the Lebanese people, who greeted me in the greatest way so that I felt that I am in my own country.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Seventy two years ago, on the 17th of August 1945, H.E. Soekarno and H.E. Muhammad Hatta have declared the Independence of the Republic of Indonesia on behalf of the Indonesian people.
In fact, this declaration was a recognition of the fundamental right of every human being, which is the right to freedom: the freedom in choosing the future of the people, the freedom out of any occupation, the freedom of standing up equally with the rest of the nations in the world, and the freedom of getting the independence, politically and economically, as it was stated in the notion of H.E. Soekarno on Independence: "Sovereignty in politics, independence in the economy and philosophy in culture".
We therefore extend our sincere gratitude to our brothers and sisters of the Lebanese people for the historic support of the independence of the Republic of Indonesia. Lebanon belongs to a special status in the hearts of the Indonesian people. It was one of the first countries to recognize our independence alongside with Egypt and Syria on July 29, 1947, during the rule of the Man of the Independence, President Bishara El Khoury.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, we do not only adhere the principles set by our Founding Fathers seventy two years ago regarding the principles of popular and patriotic life, however, we are defending them and passing them on to future generations through the establishment of a national educational system, based on patriotism and the virtue of the people.
Based on that, Indonesia built its relations with the world, specifically the bilateral relationship with Lebanon, on the same principles laid down in the 1945 Constitution, which are based on "raising public welfare and fortunes of the people with active participation to build the world of freedom, eternal peace, and social justice".
This is the policy of peace which Indonesia always holds on, which we do not hesitate to practice, particularly through sending peacekeeping forces to ten different Countries as part of the United Nations peacekeeping forces, of which, the "Garuda" battalion in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Moreover, Indonesia being the third largest democracy in the world, takes advantage of any opportunity to consolidate its special bilateral relations with Lebanon by exchanging visits between Government Officials and Members of Parliament to both countries. In this regard, it is worth mentioning that some members of the Lebanese Parliament have attended the World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development which was held in Bali, Indonesia, on the 6th and 7th of September this year, in addition to mutual supports for the candidacies of the two nations in international forums.
In this regard, we ought to express our appreciation for the support extended by Lebanon to Indonesia for the nomination of the non-permanent membership in the Security Council of the United Nations for the 2019-2020.
On the economic cooperation, Indonesia being a member of the G-20, is considered as the economic force in Southeast Asia. Fifty five percent of its 250 million citizens are considered among the productive or active working forces, along with its membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has a total population of more than 610 million people, and which creates a very large potential market.
Therefore, the exchange of visits between business people of our two countries is a good evidence on how much the trade and investment ties between Indonesia and Lebanon are excellent and at the increasing pattern year after another. Indonesia also has promising potentials in the tourism industry, characterized by the charm of its nature and the richness of its culture, to the extent that it was even considered as "a piece of heaven".
Hence, we are keen to strengthen our economic relations in the coming years, both at the Government level and private sectors also at the level of individuals.
We worked to strengthen the relationships between the two people of Indonesia and Lebanon in the future, in order to get to know each other much better and share the best practices and progress towards the benefits of our nations and countries, as stated in the Lebanese national anthem " All of us! For our Country, for our Glory and Flag!" And since Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim populations in the world, it is a nation already accustomed to coexistence and we encourage it, which we have many similarities between our nation and Lebanon, of which are the good and tolerant virtues of the people from both countries, and that actually enhances and differentiates the existing social and cultural relations between the two countries, which is achieved by exchange visits between Religious Scholars and Intellectuals, and through our participation in festivals and exhibitions in different Lebanese regions. We also should not forget the excellent hosts of this generous country to many of our Indonesian students who have received scholarships from several Lebanese universities.
In the end, I pray Allah Almighty to protect Lebanon, as a State, Government, People, and Military Forces, and I have the honor to invite you all to enjoy this celebration, which will be accompanied by cultural performances of the Indonesian students in Lebanon.
This, wa bi Llahi Ltawfik wa Lhidaya wa llahu Lmouwaffiqu ila Aqwam Ltariq
Shoukran Jazilan, Merci, Terima Kasih, Thank You, Good Evening, and Al Salamo Alaykom wa Rahmatou Llahi wa Barakatouhou.
Beirut, 3rd of October 2017
Achmad Chozin Chumaidy
The Ambassador of Indonesia to Lebanon