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President Koroma meets Saudi diplomats

President Koroma meets Saudi diplomats

Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Permanent Representative to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has described the visit of the OIC Secretary General, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu (in photo)  to Sierra Leone as “successful and fruitful“.

In a brief telephone conversation last night, Ambassador Munu said that President Koroma and the OIC top gun held discussions on developing and strengthening the existing multi-lateral ties between his Government and the OIC with its affiliated institutions and specialized organs.

“Our Government also expressed interest in the developmental progammes of the OIC, especially in the areas of agriculture, tourism, health, education, housing among others,” the Ambassador reiterated, adding that: “The meeting is good for the Socio-economic development of the country.”

In a press statement issued last night, the General Secretariat of the OIC in Jeddah also described the meeting as successful and says: “President Koroma expressed his appreciation at the bold initiatives being taken at all levels by the OIC Secretary General within the framework of the OIC Ten Year Programme of Action (TYPOA) adopted by the Makkah Summit held in December 2005.”

Both men, the release adds, recommended that the OIC and Sierra Leone thoroughly need to overview the functioning of the OIC Trust- Fund so as to better improve its performance and replenish its much needed financial resources.

It could be recalled that the OIC, in 2003, established a Trust-Fund to assist the Government of Sierra Leone with its post war reconstruction program, but adequate funds needed to be raised to meet the lofty projects/programmes that were jointly identified by the OIC Contact Group and the Sierra Leone Government under Ex-President Tejan Kabbah.

It was be the first ever visit to Sierra Leone by the head of the 57-member pan-Islamic organization since its inception on 25th September, 1969.

The OIC is an august body which works to promote political, economical, social, cultural and scientific cooperation among its member states.

The Secretary General is a man who travels extensively to mobilize resources, strategize, coordinate and facilitate activities with OIC member states with its affiliated institutions.

On the Sierra Leone side, according to reports, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs; Finance; Health; Agriculture; Education, Trade, Tourism, also took part in the discussions.

And the Secretary General was accompanied by a delegation comprising the Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs, Ambassador Hameed Opeloyeru; the Director, African Affairs, Ambassador Yahaya Lawal and a host of senior officials from the General Secretariat.

Alhaji B Jalloh, Information Attache, Sierra Leone Embassy, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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