From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Politics
As President Koroma Takes Agenda to Middle East….APC Gov't & Saudi Seek Closer Cooperation
By Abdul Malik Bangura
May 8, 2017, 12:14

His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, Head of the All Peoples Congress led government, has yesterday Sunday 7th May 2017 met with the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on ways of developing and promoting cooperation between the Kingdom and Sierra Leone.


During the meeting, President Koroma presented the Saudi King with an honourary order in appreciation of his efforts to safeguard world peace and to defend the religion of Islam, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma received at his residence the Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awad bin Saleh Al-Awad

 

Meanwhile, according to a news release earlier from the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Saudi Arabia, the Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Alhaji M.S. Kargbo, said that His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s visit to the Kingdom is with the view to personally register his appreciation to King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and the people of the Kingdom for the support rendered to the Government and people of Sierra Leone during the nation’s moments of trial resulting from the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and also the recent lifting of travel restrictions on Sierra Leone to participate in the 2016 Hajj.


“The President, the Ambassador says, will also personally register his appreciation to the Saudi King especially on the establishment of the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAF) of which Sierra Leone is a member. The aim of the President’s visit, Ambassador Kargbo added, is also to hold consultations with the King on a range of issues bordering on the two countries’ mutual interest in order to strengthen and deepen bilateral relations and cooperation between the two Governments and peoples,” the news release added.

 

Yesterday, according to Al Riyadh Newspaper report from Saudi Arabia, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma received at his residence the Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awad bin Saleh Al-Awad. During the meeting, they discussed means of enhancing cooperation between the two countries in the fields of culture and media.


Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awad bin Saleh Al-Awad also met with Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Communications Honourable Mohamed Bangura.


His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, according to Al Riyadh Newspaper report, also received yesterday the Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Nizar bin Obaid Madani. During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations and ways to promote them, in addition to issues of mutual interest. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Nizar bin Obaid Madani also met with Sierra Leone Foreign Minister Hon. Dr. Samura Kamara, currently on a visit to the Kingdom.


The meeting was also attended by the Saudi Ambassador to Sierra Leone Suleiman bin Saleh Al-Firaih.


According to Sierra Leone Embassy in Saudi Arabia, His Excellency the President will also hold marginal meetings in the Kingdom of Saudi  Arabia with the President of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB Group) His Excellency Dr. Bandar bin Mohammed bin Hamza Asaad Al Hajjar; the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen; and the Director-General of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), His Excellency Dr. Sidi Ould Tah.


According to Sierra Leone Embassy in Saudi Arabia, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is the second Sierra Leone Head of State to have been formally invited to Saudi Arabia by a Saudi Monarch in the last two decades. The late former President Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabba was invited by the late King Fahad in 1996, but didn’t make it up.

 

In his current visit to the Middle East,  His Excellency the President is accompanied by the Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Hon. Dr. Samura W. Kamara; Finance and Economic Development Minister, Hon. Momodu Kargbo; Mines and Mineral Resources Minister, Hon. Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, Information and Communications Minister, Hon. Mohamed Bangura, Education, Science and Technology Minister, Hon. Dr. Minkailu Bah; State Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Rassie Kargbo (Mrs.); and Personal Assistant to the President, Mr. Brian Gilpin, among others.


The President is also scheduled to meet with the Turkish President, H.E Tayyip Erdođan in Ankara after the completion of his Saudi visit on Tuesday, 9th May, 2017.



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