Thursday, November 30, 2006

Prince Charles reassures UK support to Sierra Leone

His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, during his first visit to the country since 1925 when then Prince of Wales and later King Edward visited the country, has assured of his countrys continuous support to Sierra Leone with particular emphasis on the security sector. The Prince of Wales gave this assurance during the official banquet hosted by the President, Dr. Alhaji Ahmed Tejan Kabbah at the State Lodge on Monday, 27th November 2006. Prince Charles chatting with troupe members "The United Kingdom will strongly continue its support to improve the security of Sierra Leone, to make the military a capable and professional army," Prince Charles assured. His Royal Highness also touched on the eco-system as it relates to tourism, and called for the protection of forest sanctuaries like the Gola Forest in particular and the Guinea Rain Forest in general, with special call to the Sierra Leonean authorities to establish a National Forest Park that would help to protect Fiona and flora as well as spices considered to be endangered. This the Prince of Wales went on to disclose that the Commonwealth Secretariat is working on modalities that will ensure the setting up of a special trust fund that would help member countries establish what he referred to as "this all important scheme". He expressed gratitude to the Government and people of Sierra Leone for the warm welcome accorded him and his entourage, noting that the welcome and hospitality "are worth remembering". Earlier, the President in his welcome address on behalf of the Government and people of Sierra Leone noted that personally, the visit was a great honour for him and pointed out that the visit "is a clear indication of the special relationship that exists between the people of Sierra Leone and Great Britain spanning over a period of 200 years". President Kabbah spoke on the several stages of transformation Sierra Leone has undergone from being a Dominion, a British Monarch, to being independent and being a Republican State. He went on to note that nevertheless, Sierra Leone has continued to be a member of the Commonwealth of Nations with her Majesty the Queen as Head. According to the President, Sierra Leone considers her relationship with Great Britain for a number of reasons, among which he noted, is the fact that Great Britain stands by Sierra Leone always in her moments of need. "Today, Sierra Leone considers Great Britain among her closest allies and one of her most reliable partners in development," the President indicated. He stated therefore that the visit provides an opportunity for His Royal Highness to get "a true feel of how far we have come since the end of the war and hope that it will create lasting memories of friendship, trust and goodwill between our two peoples", the President concluded.