In his statement, Dr. Alie Kabba congratulated the Government and people of the Republic of Lebanon on their national day celebration. He described the relationship between Lebanon and Sierra Leone as one which is adorned with history dating back to the 19th century with the arrival of Maronite Christians and the Shia Muslims in the early 20th century.
The Minister expressed hope that the relationship would transcend the establishment of just diplomatic relations to encompass the further strengthening of the mutual cooperation between the two countries in areas including economic development, close cultural ties and private sector development. He lauded the Lebanese Community for the tremendous role they continue to play in our socio-economic development strides, whilst also commending them for their involvement in the fight against the dreadful killer disease EBOLA and the mudslide disaster.
The Lebanon Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Her Excellency Brigitta Al Ojeil in enlightening the audience about the commemoration of 22nd November 1943, made reference to the incident that changed the political life and destiny of people in Lebanon from a Colonial status to an Independent State. She among other things alluded to Lebanon as the oldest democracy in the Middle East noting the religious tolerance where power is shared equally between Christians and Muslims although the country still struggles to enjoy real independence after 75 years.
She compared the fight against corruption, transparency and accountability priorities of President General Michel Aoun of Lebanon to that of President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone.
Ambassador Ojeil expressed optimism for an enhanced framework of cooperation between the house of Parliaments in Sierra Leone and Lebanon via common meetings, exchange of expertise for the mutual benefits of both countries.
She called for an upgrading of diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Sierra Leone after fifty seven years and proposed to the Government of Sierra Leone for the consideration of the opening of a new Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.