State House, Freetown, Thursday 5 November 2020 – A Member of Parliament, M’jid El Guerrab, serving in the National Assembly for French people living in the Maghreb and part of West Africa, has paid a courtesy call on His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio.
While introducing the delegation to the President, Speaker of Parliament, Honourable Dr Abass Chernor Bundu, said that the visit by the French Lawmaker was to follow-up on President Bio’s visit to Paris in 2019 and to build on the existing relationship between the two countries.
He added that Mr Guerrab had already met his counterparts at the Sierra Leone Parliament, laying a solid foundation for the relationship between the two houses. He added that France had already established what he referred to as a Franco–Sierra Leone friendship.
“We have, this afternoon, agreed to reciprocate by establishing the principle of similar friendship in our parliament. It is our fervent hope that in the coming weeks we will be able to formulate an MoU, leading to the formation of the Inter-Parliamentary Relationship between the two countries,” he said.
The visiting Parliamentarian, M’jid El Guerrab, thanked President Bio for his audience and for the warm welcome he received in Sierra Leone, adding that his visit was to strengthen the close ties between the two countries and to create a special relationship with the Sierra Leone Parliament.
In his remarks, President Bio thanked the visiting team and welcome its members to the West African nation, noting that the two countries had come a long way in their friendship, which his government hoped to benefit from.
“We have a long history with France. In the New Direction, we want to maintain this relationship for the mutual benefit of our two countries. We are eager and want to intensify our activities in the various areas of cooperation,” he said, noting that his last visit to France and meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron was to heighten that level of cooperation by establishing a permanent embassy in Paris.
“We want to rekindle this relationship at a very high level. We want to have in Freetown a resident ambassador. These are all meant to strengthen our relationships. We hope that you will find Sierra Leone as a tourist destination for those French citizens who used to come and never stopped coming,” he noted.
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