7 March 2019

Sierra Leone: 'Our Relationship With the EU Will Not Change'

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation has assured that despite the pending withdrawal of the United Kingdom, Sierra Leone's relationship with the European Union would remain intact.

Dr. Alie Kabba was responding to a question during a joint presser in the conference room of his ministry last Monday (February 25, 2019) to welcome the Federal Foreign Minister of Germany, Heiko Maas, who was in the country to strengthen bilateral ties.

He observed that the country's relationship with the UK has been a good one as it is a country they have engaged with over two centuries ago, but stressed that their planning exit from the EU is of great concern.

"I am confident that we will find willing partners within the EU. Our relationship with the EU will not change," assured Dr. Kabba.

He spoke about his recent visit to Brussels together with other African foreign ministers on the issue, noting that the mood among them was that they were going to continue to protect their cooperation with the EU.

According to him, keeping a relationship with the EU is important for Sierra Leone because of the role they continue to play in the development agenda.

"We think that there is need for us to strengthen those ties, while also making sure that we deepen our bilateral ties with those who are going to stay with the EU," the foreign minister noted.

He cited Germany as one country that will be engaged by the government with regards development priorities, as well as how ties can be deepened; while at the same time continue to strengthen investment opportunities within the EU.

No member state has withdrawn from the European Union or the European Commission. However, on 29 March 2017, the UK notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union (EU), a process known as 'Brexit' following a referendum.

The withdrawal is scheduled in law to occur on March 29, 2019 even though a deal is yet to be agreed.

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