The German Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Horst Gruner, and the new Gambian High Commissioner, Ebraima Manneh, have presented their credentials to His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio during a brief ceremony at State House.
Ambassador Gruner said it was a pleasure handing his credentials to President Bio. He said Sierra Leone and Germany had enjoyed long-standing bilateral ties which he hoped would further be strengthened during his tenure in the country.
He noted that the was recognised in the international scene as an example for overcoming conflicts, building peace, strengthening democracy and human rights, conducting peaceful elections and fostering economic development.
His Excellency Gruner disclosed that the German government was fully aware of the dignified role that President Bio was playing at the moment on the international stage and that he was particularly grateful to serve in the country.
“The countries have collaborated in a lot of ways, over the years. The fight against the Ebola virus was one that lasted much longer than expected and Germany was one of the countries that helped during the outbreak. Mr President, I can assure you of the full intention of the German government to stand by Sierra Leone in its quest for better social, political and economic future under the New Direction and towards prosperity,” he assured.
Meanwhile, High Commissioner Manneh of the Gambia said Sierra Leone and the Gambia had enjoyed a fruitful relationship dating back to the colonial era. He said the two countries had a lot of similarities, especially in culture, which he cherished so much. He noted that a lot of Gambians had visited Sierra Leone, especially in pursuit of education.
His Excellency Manneh expressed his appreciation to President Bio and his new administration for introducing the free quality education, adding that education was the foundation for development. He promised to use his office to further deepen the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
“Over the years, there has been a notable increase in the presence of Sierra Leoneans in The Gambia and Gambians in Sierra Leone. I am convinced, therefore, that there is a huge scope for formal cooperation in several areas like education, tourism, cultural exchanges, fisheries, health among others for the benefit of the two counties. I have followed keenly the recent ECOWAS meeting held in Lome and the role you played in the deliberations of that august body. Despite being your maiden attendance, your performance was remarkable. I have no doubt that your effective participation, zeal and the seriousness you have shown at the summit of our sub-regional body will continue to be recognised by your peers,” he said.
In his brief statement, President Bio said: “I welcome you to our country. You are here to strengthen the bond between our countries and while you are here be rest assured of my government’s support”.