The National Archives of Finland was the venue selected by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Embassy of Tunisia in Helsinki to host the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The event was attended by the Director General of the National Archive of Finland, Jussi Nuorteva, who served as host, the Ambassador of Tunisia, Sarra Chaouani Abidi, the Director General of the Department for Africa and the Middle East of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Leena Kaisa Mikkola, as well as diplomatic representatives and members of the Tunisian community in Finland.
Historical documents included in the exhibition at the National Archives of Finland. Photo: Embassy of Tunisia.
The celebration included an exhibition of historical photos and documents that testify to those six decades of good relations, which started on 17 July 1959. Later, there was a reception in which attendees had a chance to taste traditional Tunisian food.
"The 60th anniversary is a huge milestone to celebrate," remarked Tunisian Ambassador Sarra Chaouani Abidi, who also stressed in her welcome speech that "Tunisia's friendship with Finland has grown over the years based on common values and mutual respect."
Three wishes for the future
Chaouani Abidi explained that one of the lines of activity pursued by her mission is "enhancing cooperation and strengthening ties between the two societies and promoting cultural diplomacy." And since the celebration was in fact a birthday, she made three wishes for the future:
-"That Tunisians, Finns and all the people of the world can live in peace and security."
-"That our two countries continue to exploit the potential for cooperation and partnership."
-"That we continue to work together to defend on our shared common principles and values. Human rights, civil liberties and democracy."
Some of the attendees to the celebration. Photo: Embassy of Tunisia.
After the ambassador, the Director General of the National Archives of Finland, Jussi Nuorteva, took the floor. In his speech, Nuorteva reviewed the key dates of the relationship between the two countries, with special attention to the visits made by Presidents Bourguiba and Kekkonen to Finland and Tunisia in 1963 and 1965, respectively.
The last intervention was for Professor Tuomo Melasuo, from the University of Tampere, who delivered a lecture entitled 'Tunisia in the day dreams of the Finn'.
Photo: Embassy of Tunisia.