MFAIC Press Office Freetown: Wednesday 3rd July, 2019
The Governments of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Kingdom of Belgium on Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019 signed an air transport agreement aiming at strengthening and deepening the bilateral relations and to promote effective regulatory control of air transport services between the two countries.
Speaking at the ceremony which was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister’s Conference room, 5th Floor, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Hugues Chantry said that, the bilateral agreement was a new version of an agreement that had been in existence since 1974 and that it’s a modernized version which has already been negotiated in 2009.
Sierra Leone and Belgium, the Ambassador said, have been enjoying very good relationship, adding that his country has always been there to assist and support Sierra Leone during trying times.
He said the signing process was a double pleasure for him and very unfortunate as he will be leaving his post and finishing his tour of duty in Sierra Leone as an Ambassador of Belgium who has left an indelible mark in the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
In his statement, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Alhaji Kanja Sesay welcomed His Excellency Hugues Chantry on behalf of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, the Government and People of Sierra Leone.
He said, he noted with pleasure the excellent bilateral relationship that is existing between Sierra Leone and the Kingdom of Belgium for several decades which has been mutually beneficial.
The Minister said the signing ceremony was to further strengthen and deepen the relationship between the two countries in specific areas including air transport. He expressed hope that the agreement will put in place very effective regulatory mechanisms.
The Acting Minister acknowledged the immense and excellent relationship that exists between the two countries, noting that during the country’s Ebola Crisis, SN Brussels was one of the few international airlines that particularly stood with Sierra Leone in providing regular flights to and from Sierra Leone.
He also noted Belgium’s support during the 2017 flood and mudslide disaster in which the country also benefited immensely in the area of humanitarian assistance to the victims.
Hon. Minister Sesay said, the Government of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio also recognised the direct investments from the Kingdom of Belgium which have aided in accelerating the impressive economic growth of the country.
He concluded that the signing ceremony will symbolise and further strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries. He wished the Ambassador well in his new assignment.
Present at the ceremony were the Acting Director General, Mr. Lungi, DDG Policy, Dr. Joe Nyuma, Directors and Deputy Directors from various divisions.