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  National
Amb. Helmy Marks 10th Anniversary of Ties
Top Egyptian Envoy Hosts Exhibition, Reception
Ambassador of Egypt in Seoul MK. Helmy and Mrs. Helmy

Egyptian Ambassador to Seoul MK. Helmy hosted a reception at the Grand Ballroom of the Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel to mark the 10th anniversary of establishing full diplomatic relations between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Republic of Korea.

"We are celebrating the strong and growing bilateral relations between Korea and Egypt and an opportunity for our Korean guests to experience aspects of the Egyptian lifestyle," the top Egyptian envoy to Seoul said to The Seoul Times.

Egypt is probably the world's oldest civilization, having emerged from the Nile Valley around 7,000 years ago. Egypt is also one of the oldest vacation spots. Early Greeks, Romans and others went there for fun, and to see the wonders of some of mankind's earliest triumphs.

Amb. Helmy (third from left) poses with former National Assembly Speaker Lee Man-Sup (third from right), Amb. Toshiyuki Takano of Japan ( far left), Amb. Saleh M. Al-Rajhy of Saudi Arabia (second from left), Amb. Alfredo F. Ungo of El Salvadar (second from right), and Amb. Hussein Rammal of Lebanon(far right) at the reception.

Egypt, a country known for pyramids and sphinxes, is the cradle of ancient civilization. It was once the leader of the non-aligned Third World, and still enjoys the status of a leader in the Middle East and North Africa.

Amb. Helmy's reception in which he showed some traditional Egyption dances was a part of his efforts to bring the world's oldest yet greatest civilizations to the people of South Korea to which he has been serving as ambassador for many years now.

Prior to the reception he organized an exhibition, featuring 180 pieces of ancient Egyptian monuments from April 6 to April 12, 2005 at the National Library of Korea in Seocho-dong in Seoul's Seocho-gu area.

A traditional Egyptian performance

It was the first exhibition of Egyptian monuments held in South Korea. The free exhibition, held on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of establishing full diplomatic relations between Egypt and South Korea, drew large crowd of audience.

Its inauguration ceremony was held at the National Library of Korea in Seocho-dong in Seoul on April 6, 2005 and was joined by some 200 foreign and Korean guests from all walks of life.

The reception at Hilton was also attended by a number of VIP guests including top foreign envoys and other senior diplomats serving in Seoul.

Amb. Helmy (second from left) poses with Amb. Saleh M. Al-Rajhy of Saudi Arabia (right) and other VIP guests.

They included Amb. Volodymyr Furkalo Ph.D. of Ukraine, Amb. Rene Francisco Umana (Chinchilla) of Honduras, Amb. Dato' M. Santhananaban of Malaysia, Amb. Urjinklhundev Perenlei of Mongolia, Amb. Zaid Al-Sherida of Kuwait, Amb. Uzi Manor of Israel, Amb. Babiker Ali Khalifa of Sudan, Amb. Ahriz Abdelmoun'aam of Algeria, Amb. Abdul Maquit Mahmuduzzaman of Bangladesh, Amb. Lim Samkol of Cambodia, Amb. Carlos M.L. Frota of Portugal, Amb. Alfred F. Ungo of El Salvador, Amb. Selim Kuneralp of Turkey, Amb. Gunayavedalage. Wijayasiri of Sri Lanka, Amb. Toshiyuki Takano of Japan, Amb. Othman Jerandi of Tunisia, Amb. Hussein Rammal of Lebanon, Amb. Volodymyr V. Furkalo of Ukraine, Amb. Saleh M. Al-Rajhy of Saudi Arabia, and Amb. Sydney Bafana Kubheka of South Africa.

EUCCK President Frans Hampsink (right) poses with Amb. Tomas Smetanka of Czech Republic (center), and with medical doctor (MD) Julius Jon (left: dermatologist) during the reception.

South Korea and Egypt established their diplomatic relations rather belatedly, because the North African country had maintained close ties with the Communist North due to its leadership of the non-aligned movement.

However, the stage was set for the development of relations between South Korea and Egypt when the latter adopted its open-door policy from the mid-1970s.

In 1995, the two sides established full diplomatic relations. Since then, Egypt has officially maintained "neutrality" in diplomacy toward the two Koreas, but emphasized its relations with South Korea.

Amb. Saleh M. Al-Rajhy of Saudi Arabia (second from left) is talking with the Amb. Toshiyuki Takano of Japan (far left) while Amb. Helmy poses with former National Assembly Speaker Lee Man-Sup.

Their bilateral trade volume, which stood at $500 million in 1995, reached its peak in 1999 and decreased for the following several years. However, the two-way trade volume has recently been recovering.

As the Egyptian ambassador was busy greeting all the guests, Hamdy Shaaban, second secretary of Egyptian Embassy, was a big help in making both diplomatic guests and others feel at ease.

During the reception a traditional Egyptian dances were shown in which beautiful dancers in colorful Egpytian costumes enraptured all the audiences.

Present at the reception were about 200 guests from all walks of life — Korean and other nationals as well as embassy related personnel. The standing buffet, which started at 6:30 p.m. in Hilton's Grand Ballroom, continued into the evening.

Mrs. Helmy is welcoming the guests at the reception.

Amb. Volodymyr V. Furkalo of Ukraine is entering the receiption hall.

Amb. Helmy and his wife are welcoming the guests.

Amb. Helmy (right) is talking with Amb. Saleh M. Al-Rajhy of Saudi Arabia at the reception.

Amb. Helmy is talking with Toshiyuki Takano (left) and Amb. Hussein Rammal of Lebanon (right). In the back (far right) is Amb. Saleh M. Al-Rajhy of Saudi Arabia .

A traditional Egyptian performance.

Amb. Helmy poses with Amb. Hussein Rammal of Lebanon (center) and Amb. Othman Jerandi of Tunisia (right).

Amb. Zaid Al-Sherida of Kuwait (left) poses with Amb. Dato 'M Santhananaban of Malaysia (right), and with unidentified woman.




 

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