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Ambassador Foh optimistic, President Koroma’s visit will forge Sino-Sierra Leone ties

Ambassador Foh optimistic, President Koroma’s visit will forge Sino-Sierra Leone ties

Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Victor Bockarie Foh has, in a letter to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, informed the Chinese Government, that the recent visit by President Ernest Koroma will help to further strengthen the already existing cordial and long standing bilateral relations between the People’s Republic of China and the People’s Republic of Sierra Leone.   (Photo: Ambassador Foh and the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone)

President Koroma was during the month of June, invited as a distinguished guest speaker, at the 2nd World Peace Forum, organized by Tsinghua University. Launched as China’s first and only high-level non-governmental international security forum in 2012, the World Peace Forum has won universal acclaim from all sectors of society.

In a letter of appreciation, dated 17th July and addressed to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Foh stated that the invitation of President Ernest Bai Koroma by the World Peace Forum as one of two guest speakers at the 2nd World Peace Forum organized by Tsinghua University in Beijing has left an inedible impression on all peace loving people and more especially the people of Sierra Leone. He also informed the Chinese Government that President Koroma’s “visits and meetings in both Inner Mongolia and Hainan Province were eye-openers to the wonderful opportunities Sierra Leone could utilize to further enhance her development agenda.”

According to Ambassador Foh, the Embassy was “heartened and delighted with the wonderful opportunity that was given to our President to deliver such a great speech at the forum.” Ambassador Foh therefore, amongst other things requested the Foreign Ministry to also convey, “on our behalf, appreciation to His Excellency President Xi Jinping, Vice President Li Yuanchao for their hospitality accorded to our President during his visit” and also assured of Sierra Leone’s commitment to the ‘One China’ policy and its support to the People’s Republic of China at the bilateral and multilateral levels.

He also expressed the Embassy’s appreciation to the Protocol Department of the Foreign Ministry as well as the African Department who were very instrumental during President Koroma’s visit to China.

In a related development, Ambassador Foh has also expressed appreciation to Tsinghua University for inviting President Ernest Bai Koroma to be present at this year’s Second World Peace Forum, where he shared some perspective on New Trends in International Security and to propose actions on innovation, cooperation and development as effective pathways for meeting the security challenges of our changing world.

This landmark discussion, Ambassador Foh said,  will go a long way to further the cooperation between the two countries and that the Embassy  noted, with tremendous satisfaction the impact of President Koroma’s message to such a forum, more so the impact left by His Excellency the President in the hearts and minds of scholars and all present at the occasion.

As part of his visit to China, President Koroma also visited Inner Mongolia and Sanya City in Hainan province. The visit by the President to Inner Mongolia was to have a conducted tour on Kingho Circular Economy Demonstration Park of National Level and Kingho Fine Chemicals Park. Whilst in Sanya City, the President visited the Jincai Rubber Processing Factory and witnessed the signing ceremony for a 1.5 billion dollar agreement for a joint venture agreement on Rubber and Rice Planting and Processing Project in Sierra Leone.

 President Koroma also met with the Chinese leadership, including the President Xi Jinping and the Vice President. He was also able to meet with companies operating in Sierra Leone.

In an interview prior to his departure for Sierra Leone, President Koroma described the China visit as a “very successful visit” stating that as the Chinese have made an offer of 250 million RMB, which was given to Sierra Leone as a grant with a commitment of supporting the construction of the Centre of Excellence and other ongoing programmes in the country.  There also, was the signing ceremony for a 1.5 billion dollar agreement for a joint venture agreement on Rubber and Rice Planting and Processing Project in Sierra Leone.

This is the third visit to China by President Koroma since he became President and the first since he was reelected in 2012. His recent meeting with President Xi Jinping of China was also the first since   he (President Xi) came to power few months ago.

Sierra Leone and China entered into diplomatic relations in 1971. Since then both countries have been enjoying cordial relations both at bilateral and multilateral levels.

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