His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi
Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.
Your Highness,

It gives me the greatest honour and privilege to convey the warmest felicitations of His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and also to convey his best wishes for your personal well-being. I therefore feel gratified by Your Highness gracious consent and approval to pay a courtesy call visit on you, which is one of my duties as the accredited Representative of the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the United Arab Emirates.

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As Your Highness may recall, His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma in November 2014 ensured the establishment of a full Diplomatic Mission in the United Arab Emirates which was propelled by his admiration and love for the Government and people of the UAE, more particularly for the accelerated rate of developments in economic, commerce energy, infrastructure, education etc. in your country. I can assure Your Highness that these trends of development are worthy of emulation. I therefore feel it incumbent upon me to forge economic and technical cooperation in the fields of trade and industry with the seven respective regions which constitute the United Arab Emirates, especially with Ras Al Khaimah.

Furthermore, as Your Highness may recall, His Excellency the President in January 2014 paid a visit to your Emirate when he came to the UAE at the invitation of the Government. He was highly impressed by the warm reception that Your Highness gave him and also the discussions that he had with you regarding the prospect of trade and investment as a way of strengthening and deepening the fruitful bilateral relations existing between the two countries.

Your Highness at this juncture, may I take this opportunity to state that the Governments and peoples of the two countries have continued to enjoy long standing and excellent bilateral relations over the years through economic and technical cooperation as well as South-South Cooperation. The Government of the United Arab Emirates was one of those countries that generously donated toward the combating of the Ebola Viral Diseases in the Sub-Region of West Africa. Also the Women and Health Alliance (WAHA) of the UAE made donations of tricycles and ambulances to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone.

In South-South Cooperation, there is also mutual respect, trust and cooperation between the two countries. In 2009, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma was very instrumental in canvassing the Heads of State of the ECOWAS member countries to support the Government of the UAE to host the Headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Also in 2013, he rendered full-fledged support to the Government of the United Arab Emirates to host the Dubai EXPO 2020. The establishment of a full diplomatic mission in the United Arab Emirates will help to cement these existing bonds of bilateral ties.

I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate Your Highness in making the Ras Al Khaimah Emirate a very successful story in economic reforms, in the establishment of RAK Ceramics, Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries, in reinventing tourism and improving education. Ras Al Khaimah has a very rich history and is very renowned for its exquisite pearls, the whitest and roundest in the world.

Since the emphasis of diplomatic relations now hinges on trade and investment, it is the earnest desire of the Government and people of Sierra Leone to ensure how best the Government of the United Arab Emirates can mutuallytap the resources of gold, diamond, iron ore, coffee, cacao, citrus fruits like cashew nuts, banana, plantain, etc. for the benefit of the two countries.

Similarly, the Government of Sierra Leone is also keenly desirous to see how the renowned RAK ceramics, medicines and tourism of Ras Al Khaimah can be marketed in Sierra Leone.

Notwithstanding the issues of trade and investment, there are also prospective areas for bilateral cooperation such as Culture, since both countries are members of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, Arab-African Summit, not only for South-South Cooperation but also for the establishment of Islamic schools, health Centers, Mosques as hallmarks of the solidarity of the Muslim Uma.

On these keynotes, I once more wish to reassure Your Highness of the full support and cooperation of the Government of His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma of the Republic of Sierra Leone. And as a resident Ambassador I am determined to exert more efforts to concretize these bonds of friendship between the Ras Al Khaimah Emirate and the Government of Sierra Leone.

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