The Government of Sierra Leone and the Government of Cuba on Friday 19th March, 2021 signed an Agreement on Regular Diplomatic Consultation during a virtual meeting between the Foreign Ministers of both countries.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Nabeela Farida Tunis extended fraternal greetings to her Cuban counterpart, Mr Bruno Rodriquez Parrilla. Also, on behalf of His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio, she thanked the Government and People of Cuba for providing Medical Brigades to Sierra Leone both during the Ebola epidemic and now the COVID-19 pandemic. The support during the pandemic, she said, helped to prevent the spread of the virus, as the Brigade team provided fantastic support to the Sierra Leone Medical team imparting them with pertinent knowledge in general healthcare.
The Foreign Minister said the signing ceremony marked another milestone in the bilateral relations that have existed for decades between the two sister countries. Minister Farida Tunis stated that the agreement, would tighten and deepen further the long standing friendship that the two countries have enjoyed.
Also, she informed her Cuban counterpart of Government’s desire to have discussions with the Cuban Government on establishing long term medical brigade in Sierra Leone that would be deployed across the country. Moreover, the discussions will also focus on how the two countries would work towards sustaining agreements on cooperation and on boosting the healthcare system of Sierra Leone. She requested from her counterpart for consideration of Sierra Leone when vaccines are readily available from Cuba.
Furthermore, Minister Tunis disclosed to Minister Parrilla the intention of Sierra Leone bidding for the United Nations Security Council Non-Permanent seat in 2024 and solicited support in that direction. She further disclosed President Julius Maada Bio’s consideration of having a presence in Cuba at Charge d’ Affairs level.
The Presence of Sierra Leone in Cuba she concluded would enhance meaningful bilateral cooperation. In his statement, the Cuba Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla expressed appreciation to his Sierra Leone counterpart for her relentless efforts in tightening the bilateral bonds between Cuba and Sierra Leone.
He expressed gratitude for the 49th celebration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and Sierra Leone describing the occasion as historical and a benchmark for traditional mutual ties between the two countries. Mr Parrilla said, the signing ceremony of the agreement is an important step in strengthening and deepening the bilateral relations between Cuba and Sierra Leone.
Minister Parrilla emphasized that the bond of friendship between the two countries has started years back and has been enjoyed by the people of both countries. The Cuba Foreign Minister reiterated that the bilateral cooperation between Cuba and Sierra Leone is a priority for the Cuban Government.
He expressed profound gratitude and appreciation to Sierra Leone for the stance taken on multilateral issues including the 60 years economic embargo on Cuba. Speaking on the issue of the pandemic, Minister Parrilla said, as a government, they have been following up on the global trend and that his country has been able to keep the spread of the virus under control, despite the 300 COVID-19 death the country had suffered. His country’s vaccines, he said, are on clinical trials and promised that when they would be made available, Sierra Leone would be considered.
Speaking on his country’s support to Sierra Leone, Mr Parrilla said that the Government of Cuba is planning to hold a technical cooperation meeting with the Sierra Leone Government on the medical field and that regarding the bilateral cooperation on education, they are considering an increase in the number of scholarships to Sierra Leone.
The Cuba Foreign Minister stated that Cuba and Sierra Leone have maintained an excellent tradition in supporting each other, assuring that Cuba will continue to support Sierra Leone’s interests at the multilateral levels.
He concluded that the Cuban Government highly welcomes the idea of Sierra Leone having a presence in Cuba and of receiving H. E. President Bio and Minister Nabeela Tunis in Havana when the COVID- 19 situation allows safety to travel.
Present at the signing ceremony were the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large, Mrs Florence Nyawa Bangalie, Director of Americas and South Pacific who coordinated and moderated the meeting, Mrs Isha Sillah, Deputy Director of America and South Pacific, Mr Steven Levey and staff of the America Division.
Head of Section Media and Public Relations Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
OAU Drive, Tower Hill, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Contact: +232 78 861 822/77 713 939