Sierra Leone, Guinea commit to enhance mutual security, public health and socio-economic interests

EYEAFRICA TV: Conakry, GUINEA:- Sierra Leone and Guinea have agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation by signing a communique and committing to enhance mutual security, public health and socio-economic interests of both countries.

The move comes as the Sierra Leonean President, Dr Julius Maada Bio conclude two-day working visit to Conakry on Tuesday.

The two countries have also committed to reopening on Thursday 18 Feb the land border that was closed since early last year due to COVID-19, Sierra Leonian presidency said in a statement.

“Based on mutual reassurances and enhanced mutual confidence…the President of the Republic of Guinea Professor Alpha Conde has reviewed the security situation in his country and has agreed to reopen its borders with the Republic of Sierra Leone effective from Thursday 18 February 2021 at 8:00 hours GMT,” the signed communique stated.

“The two leaders also agreed to reactivate the Joint Technical Committee on Yenga, which shall commence sittings in Nongowa, on 3 March 2021. They also agreed to implement the agreement to Joint Border Patrols along the common border areas from 5 March 2021.”

The document also added that the two foreign ministers would immediately restart the holding of the Joint Commission of Cooperation meetings between the two countries.

The communique also contains a raft of bilateral agreements to cooperate on security, defence, public health, ICT, mining, justice, transport, private investments, and cultural exchanges.

The two leaders further pledged to use their offices to provide the necessary capacity to address the current and emerging public health emergency such as COVID-19 and Ebola in the two countries.    

According to the document, the two Heads of State “expressed their satisfaction with the strategies by the two countries in the COVID-19 pandemic and reaffirmed their determination to coordinate their efforts in obtaining vaccines for their respective populations.”

At the subregional level, President Bio and President Conde welcomed the latest decisions for the return of Mali to constitutional order, in accordance with the provisions of ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and reiterated their continental commitment to always defend the African interest.

“They also welcomed the decision of the African Union Heads of State and Government for launching the first operational stage of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement…and commended the implementation of the 2063 agenda and other reforms initiated at the African Union,” the communique adds.

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