The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Nabeela Tunis, held a virtual meeting with her counterpart, the Turkish Foreign Minister, H.E. Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Opening the discussion with the usual diplomatic courtesies, Minister Tunis highlighted the unprecedented human and material cost unleashed by the pandemic and more specifically, the resultant socio-economic difficulties encountered by developing countries. In reference to the situation in Sierra Leone, Minister Tunis shared lessons from an early response strategy instituted by government which has helped to curb the spread of the disease. Noting that support from friendly countries was critical in ramping up the national response, Minister Tunis thanked the Turkish government on behalf of H. E. the President, Dr Julius Maada Bio, for its donation of respiratory equipment and medical supplies through the Kar Power Electricity Company in Freetown.
During the conversation, Minister Tunis conceded that the pandemic had shifted focus away from other important developmental processes that Sierra Leone had been engaged in prior to the outbreak. However, she appealed to her colleague to remain committed to the cooperation agreements they signed in 2019 on education, technology and industry sectors as well as capacity strengthening of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, among others.
Minister Tunis informed her colleague that an appreciable parcel of land has been allocated to the Turkish Embassy in Sierra Leone to construct its Chancery and Residence.
In response, the Turkish Foreign Minister expressed his country’s appreciation of the excellent relationship between the two nations and committed to strengthen it further by fulfilling the cooperation agreements and providing diplomatic training and other support for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. He disclosed that the Turkish International School in Freetown will be upgraded to a higher level and shared plans to improve on the cultural relations between the two nations.
H.E. Mevlut Cavusoglu also informed of a planned visit by a Turkish business delegation as soon as the pandemic eases and reaffirmed his country’s readiness to facilitate the acquisition of land for the construction of the Sierra Leone Embassy in Ankara.
Both Ministers agreed that concluding the current Cooperation Agreement on Trade and Development, including the one on Double Taxation, was the first step to strengthening the diplomatic ties between the two nations.
They also agreed on an immediate virtual meeting between the two Presidents to be followed by a State Visit.
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