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The Ambassadors of Sierra Leone and Nigeria in the People’s Republic of China, His Excellencies Victor Bockarie Foh and Aminu Bashir Wali (l-r in photo), respectively, on Monday, 29th July called for a stronger collaboration and closer work relations especially at the bilateral and regional levels for better results and surge in cooperation.
This call for collaboration came during a courtesy call on the Nigerian Ambassador to China by Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh. This is part of series of activities he has been undertaking following his arrival in China as Sierra Leone’s envoy.
According to Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh, Sierra Leone and Nigeria have been supportive to each other, not only within the framework of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU), but also at the bilateral level and as such the need for both countries to work collaboratively in China cannot be downplayed, especially given China’s readiness to support African countries in their development plans.
Ambassador Foh informed his Nigeria counterpart, that Sierra Leone regards Nigeria as an elder brother as “the friendship between both countries can’t be compared to any other.” This friendship, he said, is even manifested in the relationship that has existed between Presidents Ernest Bai Koroma and Goodluck Jonathan of Sierra Leone and Nigeria respectively. Ambassador Foh went further to call for better cooperation and collaboration saying “when we get closer and speak with one voice within the framework of ECOWAS, it brings result”
Nigeria, Ambassador Foh said, played a crucial role in bringing an end to Sierra Leone’s civil war as was seen in that country’s intervention through ECOMOG in the war in Sierra Leone. “Nigeria helped in salvaging our country… they paid a price in taking Sierra Leone where it is today and we owe that country a lot” he said.
He also paid special tribute to Nigeria for her role in building up Sierra Leone’s democratic institutions by supporting Sierra Leone’s judiciary and the National Electoral Commission, (NEC)
In his remarks, Nigeria’s Ambassador to china, HE Aminu Bashir Wali said, historically, both countries have come a long way in terms of cooperation and as such promised to “always look at both countries as one and the same” He also paid tribute to the leadership of Sierra Leone for always standing by them, especially during their internal challenges with issues related to security.
Speaking on Nigeria’s role in ending Sierra Leone’s decade long civil war, the Nigeria envoy said “it would have been unbelievable if Nigeria had not played a role as it was mandatory on us to help”
Speaking further, Ambassador Aminu Bashir Wali said, the problem common to both countries is development “but working at a sub regional level should lead to more discussions and interaction as China is the destination for development”
He informed Ambassador Foh, that they have got a lot to do in opening the eyes of their various countries in terms of what can be achieved in their relationship with China saying, “Whatever we do, we have a responsibility to our people”
Ambassador Wali used the meeting to brief his Sierra Leonean counterpart about their working relations with China within the framework of the Forum On China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund). He promised to be working closely with Ambassador Foh in “discussing issues of further cooperation”
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