Receiving the high powered delegation for the Czech Republic, the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large, Ambassador Paul A.S. Minah told the gathering that, the delegation is in the country to solidify the bilateral ties between the two countries especially in the area of defense.
In his welcome address, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Alhaji Kanja Sesay welcomed the delegation on behalf of his colleague Minister who was unavoidably absent due to some official engagement out of the country.
The Hon. Acting Minister described the visit of the delegation from the Czech Republic as indicative of their country’s commitment in strengthening and deepening the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Minister Sesay noted that, Sierra Leone and the Czech Republic have been enjoying a long standing relationship spanning decades ago and that the visit of the team has escalated that relationship to another level.
The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs went on to state that, as a government,. They have been following with keen interest Czech Republic’s engagement with the African content especially in countries like Ghana, Liberia ect.
The Hon. Minister called on the Government of Czech Republic to extending such interest to Sierra Leone and to also establish a Residential Consular Mission in both countries in order to further strengthen and deepen the bilateral ties between the two sister countries.
He further went on to talk about the just launched national Development Plan which he said is being used by the ‘New Direction’ Government to guide the framework of the country’s engagement internationally.
He explained that the new document is embedded with priority areas such as education, agriculture, health ect which is being described by His Excellency Brigadier Julius Maada Bio as Human capital Development document.
He called on the delegation to work with the Government of Sierra Leone particularly in major areas of cooperation such as the Free Quality Education, which according to him is the President’s heart desire, in moving Sierra Leone to a higher height.
He assured the delegation of the ‘New direction’ government cooperation in further strengthening and deepening the bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Deputy Minister/ Director of Industrial Cooperation from the Ministry of Defense, Czech Republic, Toma Kopecny, in his statement said, the road to a deeper collaboration and cooperation lied within those priority area mentioned by the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Alhaji Kanja Sesay.
He said he was so delighted that he and his delegation visited the country after the launch of the National development Plan adding that they are going to look at the plan and identify areas of interest where they can support the country in its development strides.
Mr Kopecny enlightened the gathering that, as a country, they are famous in several areas of development and that one of their biggest strength lies in the area of security and defense. Another he stated was agriculture.
He said as a government they are presently focused on issues that are of win-win cooperation and the identification of countries to establish collaboration deeper and that Sierra Leone is at the top of those countries they have identified.
Giving an update on the meeting held with his Sierra Leonean Counterpart, the Deputy Minister, Mr Kopecny said the meeting was fruitful as they held discussions on how Sierra Leone has achieved peace and security greatly and admirably.
He assured the Acting Minister of his country’s commitment to work with Sierra Leone in its core priority areas.
The closing courtesy was delivered by the Deputy Director General, Operation, Mr. Alhassan Kondeh.
The delegation comprise of the Deputy Minister of Defense, the Director of Czech Republic’s Defense Policy, the Defense Policy and Strategic Specialist on Sub-Saharan Africa in the Industrial Cooperation Sector, the Ambassador, Commercial Counselor, CEO of Defcon, Sales Manager, Lom Trade Praha, Business Development Director, Excalibur Army, Sales Manager, Sellier & Bellot, Commercial Manager, SVOS Spol. SRO, CEO, KIRIALI S.R.O and the Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic to Burkina Faso.
The meeting was attended by Directors and Deputy Directors of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.