By State House Communication Unit
Five new ambassadors from The Gambia, European Union (EU), Nigeria, United States of America and Liberia presented their letters of credence to His Excellency President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at State House today, Thursday 5th October 2017, to mark the beginning of their diplomatic mission in Sierra Leone.
The President indicated Sierra Leone’s determination to continue to strengthen the economic, social and cultural cooperation with their respective countries. He also assured that Sierra Leone will do everything possible to maintain and deepen the values of participatory democracy, the rule of law and to promote peace, prosperity and security of other countries.
President Koroma also expressed profound appreciation for the timely response of these countries as well as the European Union to the August 14 landslides and flooding. Their messages of condolences and the financial and medical support provided during such trying times, the president said, reinforced their commitment, as longstanding partners in the building of a better Sierra Leone.
Virtually expressing similar sentiments in succession, the ambassadors assured of their commitment to increase and further strengthen the constructive relations which exist between Sierra Leone and their home countries.
In his presentation, the EU head of delegation Ambassador Tom VENS assured of EU’s commitment as a long-standing partner to overcome the challenges Sierra Leone is facing. “In a common effort with other partners, as EU we also stand ready to join you in reflections on how Sierra Leone can further develop robust disaster prevention strategies and mitigate risks,” he said.
On her part, the new US Ambassador Maria Elena Brewer expressed similar sentiments, saying that the US will work closely with other international partners to steadfastly support the country as relief attempts transition to what she referred to as “more permanent efforts to assist those displaced from this horrendous event”. She further assured of the United States’ willingness and determination to continue to support efforts at promoting democracy while increasing economic growth and investment, and through their assistance programs, continue to strengthen local governance, public health, agricultural development, responsible mining, food security and education.
High Commissioner of Nigeria Dr Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada commended the giant strides being taken by Sierra Leone under the dynamic leadership of President Koroma, adding that Sierra Leone has witnessed rapid socio-economic and political transformation which has translated into commendable massive infrastructural development. He promised to take Nigeria/Sierra Leone relations to higher heights for the benefit of the peoples of both countries.
High Commissioner of The Gambia Ambassador Ingram Reginald Olufemi Peters said that the recent political crisis which hit his country and the role of ECOWAS (of which the two countries are members) as well as the personal role played by President Koroma in resolving the impasse is a living example of symbiotic relationship that has continued to flourish between the two sister countries.
Liberian Ambassador Mrs Musu Jatu Ruhle pledged to work tirelessly, in concert with officials of the Government of Sierra Leone, to further solidify the already excellent relations subsisting between the two countries and peoples. “The natural ties that bind our two peoples transcend the physical boundaries,” she stated.
A quarter guard was mounted by a detachment of the 5th Battalion under the 3rd Infantry Brigade of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF).