State House, Freetown, Saturday, 13 January 2019 – The Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, together with his entourage has met His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio as part of a two-day state visit to the people of Sierra Leone.
The visit was, among other things, aimed at deepening diplomatic and bilateral relationship between the two countries.
Minister of Information and Communication, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, who chaired the meeting, said that he was honoured to have been part of the high-level consultative meeting on bilateral cooperation between the government of Sierra Leone and Ethiopia.
The minister also stated that the two countries had started diplomatic relations in 1970 when those missions were established at the level of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Prime Minister expressed his sincere appreciation to the President and people of Sierra Leone for the kind hospitality accorded him and his entourage during their stay in Freetown, a place he referred to as a major port city of the Atlantic Ocean.
He said that his visit to Sierra Leone would not only deepen the already existing remarkable relations between the two countries, but it would also create an excellent opportunity to establish strong ties in the social and economic sectors.
The Deputy Prime Minister added that the two countries had worked very hard to ensure that the ties remained fabulous and strong, noting that it was his dream for Freetown to be a spotlight for Ethiopia Airline very soon.
“These two countries have worked hard for their long earned ties and for the transformation of peace and unity not only between the two countries but also in the African Union. The first visit of Emperor Haile Selassie to Sierra Leone in 1972 marked the beginning of this sweet relation that we are now enjoying,” he said.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia also stated that he was pleased with the contribution and sacrifices of the Sierra Leone Police in the peacekeeping process of Somalia.
“I am pleased to note that Sierra Leone has the largest contingent of Police Officers in Somalia who are working tirelessly in restoring Law and Order,” he said.
He further explained that Ethiopia and Sierra Leone shared common global challenges such as poverty, climate change child and drug trafficking, adding that a strong cooperation between the two countries was needed to tackle some of those global challenges.
His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio welcomed the Deputy Prime Minister and his entourage and said that the two countries had worked very hard for the current state of bilateral relationship before they both got into office.
He assured that his New Direction government did not know that geographical and colonial boundaries existed in people’s mind, but said that his government was a New Direction for every progressive government. He stated that he had discovered that the Republic of Ethiopia was a liberal, progressive and a democratic state that was development oriented. He said the country had made serious strides in moving their people out of poverty, adding that Ethiopia’s character of leadership was worth emulating. He disclosed that he had already started initial discussions with the country’s leadership for a mutually beneficial tie.
“This is a great and strategic relations that we must follow because Ethiopia has achieved quite a lot. So, we have to follow that relationship for the good of our people here in Sierra Leone,” he said.
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