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Statement by Hon Alhaji IB Kargbo on Liberia’s 163rd Independence Anniversary

Statement by Hon Alhaji IB Kargbo on Liberia’s 163rd Independence Anniversary

Statement by the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hom. Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo (in photo) on the occasion of the 163rd Independence Anniversary of the Republic of Liberia:

Your Excellency, Mr. Brima
Ambassador of the Republic Liberia
Honourable Speaker of Parliament
My Lord Chief Justice
Honourable Ministers of Cabinet
Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps
Honourable Members of Parliament
Your Worship the Mayor of Freetown
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

It is with great pleasure that I represent the Government and People of Sierra Leone in this friendly gathering this evening on this auspicious occasion marking yet another Independence anniversary of the Sister Republic of Liberia.  The Government and People of Sierra Leone are indeed proud to salute the Liberian people and friends of Liberia the world over in celebrating this momentous event.  We in Sierra Leone warmly share this joy because of our common ethnic, cultural and historical ties with the Liberian people.

Let me therefore on behalf of His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the Government and People of the Republic of Sierra Leone and on my own behalf, extend warmest congratulations to the Government and People of the Republic of Liberia on this great and unique day in their history.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Liberia as you may all know is the first African country that attained political independence from the United States of America, and succeeding governments have been contributing to the socio-economic development of that country, which made her to become an envy of West Africa.  This encouraged many sons and daughters from other African countries to seek greener pasture there.

It is insightful for this gathering to be reminded about the Liberian civil war which lasted over a decade and which brought about a swift social and economic demise, thus increasing the affliction of the Liberian people.

Like Sierra Leone, the Republic of Liberia had gone through the debacle of war resulting to a corresponding repercussion on her political development.  It is however gratifying to note the enormous strides the Republic Liberia has made since the restoration of peace, security and democracy in that country.

Mr. Ambassador, the Government of Sierra Leone acknowledges with appreciation the kind sentiments you have expressed to this country relating to the positive efforts it has been making to improve the living standards of its people.  We welcome your words of encouragement for our emergence from the devastating civil war that caused our country and her people a terrible suffering, and of the progress we have been making so far.  We as a Government and People are unwavering in our commitment for the survival of our people.  I have no doubt that Liberians are pursuing the same goal under the dynamic leadership of Her Excellency president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

As Ambassador Brima rightly pointed out, the promotion of democracy is one of the core values of this country and it is therefore vital in fostering partnership with friendly nations, especially a Sister country like the Republic of Liberia.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, in the quest for the consolidation of peace, security, democracy and good governance in both Sierra Leone and Liberia, the past Presidential elections in these countries were free, fair and credible.  These countries’ democratic credentials continue to stand the test of time.  Sierra Leoneans and Liberians everywhere are overwhelmed with pride for the resounding achievements which the Governments and peoples of these Nations have made in the past electoral processes.

May I take this opportunity to assure you all that both Sierra Leone and Liberia share the common values of democracy, good governance and peaceful co-existence.  To this end, Sierra Leone has always cooperated and collaborated with Liberia within regional and international organizations such as the United Nations, Africa Union and ECOWAS.  Both countries have supported each other’s interest within these organizations and have been supporting the African Union and ECOWAS common postures on international issues like the Reform of the United Nations Security Council.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, bilateral relations between Sierra Leone and the Republic of Liberia are very fruitful, friendly and long standing.  The two countries have enjoyed excellent relations, which have been characterized by mutual cooperation, respect and a fruitful co-existence at all levels.

The Government and People of Sierra Leone are fully aware of the exemplary role that Liberia is playing for the revitalization of the Mano River Secretariat.  It is therefore a great pleasure to have Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the current Chairperson of the Mano River Union.  We are confident that with her wealth of experience in statesmanship, she will successfully direct the affairs of the Union.

I would be remiss if I failed to take this opportunity to acknowledge with deep appreciation the warm fraternal hospitality that the Government and People of Liberia are according to Sierra Leonean refugees in Liberia, their second home.

Mr. Ambassador, I want to assure you that the cordial relations and fruitful cooperation existing between our two countries have been of immense value, and a matter of enormous pride to us in this country.  We are determined to consolidate and further strengthen these relations especially in the development sector.  Our doors remain open to all well meaning Liberians who are interested in exploiting avenue for fruitful trade relationship between our two countries.

We note your interest to cooperate very closely with us in the attainment of peace, security and prosperity for the benefit of our two nations.  In this regard, let me assure you of the unflinching support of the Government and people of Sierra Leone.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, may I at this juncture request you to raise your glasses and drink lustily to the continued good health and prosperity of Her Excellency Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia.

Long Live Sierra Leone – Liberia Unity.

Ministry of Information and Communication, Freetown

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