On July 9, 1816, precisely 204 years ago, the Republic of Argentina declared its independence, at the province of Tucuman, the smallest one of all the Argentine territory.
That date, which we commemorate today, was the initiation of a rich history of events which developed along the years, transforming our country as an excellent and successful multicultural example, in which different races, religions and cultures came together to evoke the deep feeling of being Argentine, since that is the solid symbol of unity in all aspects.
To commemorate this national day in the Gulf is something very special. Although geographically speaking we are separated from Qatar by approximately 13,000km, our bilateral relations are deep and solid, not only because of our joint achievements but also because of our intense feeling of mutual friendship.
Our countries established diplomatic relations 46 years ago in 1974 with a joint release, and in 1994 we signed a Memorandum of Understanding to open our embassy in Doha. Finally the offices were opened in 2013 through the drive of our President at the time, Ms. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
Since then the bilateral relations between Argentina and Qatar have intensified in a rapid, solid and uninterrupted process through several important bilateral achievements which not even the unjust blockade could slow down or stop.
As Qatar was increasing its exports and investments to our country, Argentina was also expanding its exports to Qatar in a very dynamic way. However, we can't limit everything economy and commerce.
We have also achieved excellent results in education, culture and sports co-operation. This contributes definitely to a realistic and sustainable integration of our peoples.
We have clear evidence of our joint work, since during the last 2 years we were able to achieve over 40 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding, taking into account those already signed, in the process to be signed and in the last stage of negotiations.
The Republic of Argentina found in Qatar a rich and generous country, with relevant presence regionally and internationally, with a very well-known record in helping and assisting not only developing nations but also on the international humanitarian scene, leading its neighbours in this matter.
On the other side, Qatar found in Argentina not only a reliable strategic partner but also a peaceful country, with spectacular landscapes and friendly people.
Living in Qatar, an amazing country with the incredible Qatari people under the wise guidance of its leader, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, it is important to emphasise that our bilateral relations are compact and we only need to work mutually in order to make it more extensive.
For Argentina and Qatar this is an easy job since our people share fundamental values and concepts like family, friendship and loyalty.