@ M.B. Jalloh, Press Attaché, Saudi Arabia
President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma will pay a state visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 6th to 9th May, 2017 as a guest of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdaulaziz Al-Saud.
According to Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Alhaji M.S. Kargbo, His Excellency, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma will be making the formal visit to the Kingdom with the view to personally register his appreciation to King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and the people of the Kingdom for the support rendered to the Government and people of Sierra Leone during the nation’s moments of trial resulting from the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and also the recent lifting of travel restrictions on Sierra Leone to participate in the 2016 Hajj.
The President, the Ambassador says, will also personally register his appreciation to the Saudi King especially on the establishment of the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAF) of which Sierra Leone is a member.
The aim of the President’s visit, Ambassador Kargbo adds, is also to hold consultations with the King on a range of issues bordering on the two countries’ mutual interest in order to strengthen and deepen bilateral relations and cooperation between the two Governments and peoples.
“The two leaders will also discuss the promotion of trade and investment; explore potential areas of economic and technical cooperation between the two countries,” the Ambassador concludes.
An aide to the President told me last night that, the Head of State will be accompanied by some senior cabinet ministers, including, the Foreign and International Cooperation Minister, Dr. Samura W. Kamara.
It could be recalled that President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is the second Sierra Leone Head of State to have been formally invited to Saudi Arabia by a Saudi Monarch in the last two decades. The late former President Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabba was invited by the late King Fahad in 1996, but didn’t make it up – reasons for that, still remains unclear.