By State House Communication Unit
His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone hosted this morning, Monday 31 July 2017, in Freetown his Ivorian counterpart, His Excellency Mr Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Cote D'Ivoire for bilateral and multilateral consultations.
The two leaders exchanged views on the further deepening of existing bilateral relations in order to promote the national priorities of the peoples of both countries.
A joint press conference and decoration ceremony of President Alassane Ouattara commenced soon after the bilateral meeting. The insignia is being conferred in recognition of his contribution in strengthening excellent bilateral relations between Sierra Leone and Cote D'Ivoire and his relentless efforts in fostering cooperation and collaboration at multilateral level within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, and the Mano River Union.
Both Cote D'Ivoire and Sierra Leone had gone through civil conflicts and are now at peace with democratically elected governments.
The Ivorian leader paid tribute to the people of Sierra Leone for showing a high degree of resilience in the face of the unprecedented Ebola epidemic. Despite the devastating toll of the Ebola epidemic on the economy, he commended the people of Sierra Leone especially the leadership of President Koroma for turning things around for the better.
President Ouattara expressed hope that the bilateral relations between the two countries would be strengthened to maximize benefits for the peoples of both nations.
He expressed sincere thanks and appreciation to President Koroma for his role in not only resolving the political impasse that ensued in Cote D'Ivoire in the aftermath of his electoral victory a couple of years back, but also his personal contribution towards Cote D'Ivoire's membership of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2018 - 2019, for which he canvassed Sierra Leone for continued support at that level.
On his part, President Koroma stated that the two countries have strengthened bilateral ties to the next level as well as agreed on further deepening multilateral relations. He lauded the leadership role of President Ouattara not just in Cote D'Ivoire but in the sub-region. According to President Koroma, the basis for democracy is peace and security, saying that his Ivorian counterpart has done a lot to bring peace to Ivory Coast.
The president also took time to comment on the forthcoming 2018 general elections, which he hoped to be peaceful. He noted that the two countries share the same views on the fight against terrorism and in strengthening their security and intelligence network. They also agreed to promote and fast-track collaboration towards economic cooperation, trade and investment such as agriculture and infrastructure.