Welcoming members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara said the objective of the quarterly diplomatic Forum is to discuss issues of mutual concern and interest that cannot be addressed at various levels, given the varying geopolitical ramifications that are of strategic interest to the Ministry and the country as a whole.
The forum, Dr. Samura Kamara maintained, would focus on one particular geopolitical event, which is the Brexit. He posited that Brexit is not an ordinary event based on two reasons: first, the country (United Kingdom) that is exiting after forty years of EU membership has international recognition and strong influence in the EU and outside the EU; second, the EU itself is a collection of more than twenty countries coming together forming a union and speaking with one voice; a voice that in some aspect hinges on national sovereignty. Sierra Leone is very much concerned with this development, he added.
The Foreign Minister expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps in Sierra Leone for their continued support and cooperation. He expressed special thanks to the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone for their invaluable support to refurbish and furnish the conference facility, while calling on other missions in the country to continue to support the Ministry.
The three discussants, the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom, H.E. Guy Warrington; Ambassador Maher Almahdy for the Arab Republic of Egypt; and Head of Delegation of the European Union, Tom Vens, delivered a ten-minute presentation each, on the theme of the forum. This was followed by discussions on the issues raised.
Some of the emerging issues, concerns and assurances made during the interactive forum were: that the Brexit negotiations are highly technical and that Brexit is real and will come to pass. It was also made clear that Britain will not go inward, that is, closing its doors but expected to reach out to developing nations by enhancing free trade, maintaining global peace and improve dealings with Africa. It was also made clear that Britain will continue to support Sierra Leone as the two countries share common historical, social and economic ties.
The forum was moderated by the Director of Protocol, Mr. Tamba Juana, while the closing remarks and vote of thanks were delivered by the Minister of State II, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Isata Kabia.