His Excellency Nidal Yahya, Ambassador of the Republic of Lebanon to Sierra Leone resident in Freetown, has taken formal leave of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara, at the Ministry’s office, Tower Hill, Freetown.
In his farewell statement to the Minister and Senior Management staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, His Excellency Nidal Yahya, on behalf of the Government of Lebanon and the Lebanese community in Sierra Leone conveyed sincere gratitude to the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma for taking good care of the Lebanese nationals and in granting Sierra Leone citizenship to more than 650 Lebanese families during his Presidency. Ambassador Yahya also thanked the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the warm reception given to all Lebanese personalities and nationals and respect for the vast legacy of the Lebanese community.
The Lebanese Ambassador said Sierra Leone and Lebanon have experienced over 100 years of Lebanese migration to the country. The Lebanese community in Sierra Leone, he said, has been integrated into the Sierra Leone society through inter-marriages, social interactions, sports, cultural fusion as well as economic activities. The Embassy of Lebanon, Ambassador Nidal Yahya disclosed, was among the first five Foreign Embassies established in Sierra Leone since independence. ‘I have gained wealth of experience during my tour of duty in Sierra Leone and I am proud that I have contributed immensely to strengthening the existing bilateral relations between Lebanon and Sierra Leone. I have confidence that the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone would in the near future take the decision to open an Embassy in Beirut, Ambassador Yahya concluded.
Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara, on behalf of Government and the people of the Republic of Sierra Leone, thanked the outgoing Ambassador for enduring his mission in Sierra Leone. He described the bilateral relations between Lebanon and Sierra Leone as very cordial underscoring that this partnership has promoted the unique peaceful co-existence between the people of Sierra Leone and the Lebanese community. Ambassador Nidal Yahya, Dr. Samura Kamara said, would be remembered for the pivotal role he played during the Ebola crisis in the country and for further strengthening the bilateral relations between the two nations. ‘Please extend my regards to the Foreign Affairs Minister of Lebanon’, Dr. Samura Kamara, concluded.
Present were: the Director General and Ambassador-at-Large, Deputy Director General for Operations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Assistant Director General for Policy and Technical Cooperation; Directors of various Divisions and Heads of Sections of the Ministry.