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Chinese, Sierra Leonean FMs discuss ties over phone

Updated: Jul 20,2022 19:19    Xinhua

BEIJING — State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Sierra Leone's counterpart, David John Francis, talked about bilateral ties in a phone conversation on July 19.

In their talks, Francis, on behalf of his country, thanked the Chinese government and people for their valuable assistance to Sierra Leone's economic and social development over the years, and since the COVID-19 outbreak in particular, for China's timely help to Sierra Leone and other small and medium-sized countries in their anti-COVID-19 fight.

Sierra Leone highly recognizes China's commitment to prioritizing development and putting people first, and speaks highly of China's leading role in preserving world peace and security, he said.

Describing China as a reliable and strong partner of Sierra Leone, Francis said his country will continue to stand in solidarity with China on issues concerning China's core interests and major concerns, expecting to deepen cooperation with China in various fields and welcoming Chinese enterprises to invest in Sierra Leone.

China and Sierra Leone are good and old friends, Wang said, adding that under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, bilateral ties have maintained a strong momentum for development.

The close cooperation and mutual support between the two sides in jointly fighting the pandemic, promoting economic recovery and safeguarding international equity and justice demonstrates the high level of bilateral relations, Wang said.

China appreciates Sierra Leone's consistent support for China in safeguarding its core interests, Wang noted. China also firmly supports Sierra Leone in safeguarding its sovereignty, independence and national dignity.

China, Wang said, also supports Sierra Leone in making various efforts to promote national development and to play a more important role in Africa and on the international stage.

China will continue to offer support and assistance according to the developmental needs of Sierra Leone, promoting cooperation in mining, agriculture and infrastructure, carrying out more livelihood projects, encouraging Chinese enterprises to invest there, and helping Sierra Leone improve its independent development capabilities and accelerate the industrialization process, Wang added.

On the Ukraine crisis, Francis expounded on Sierra Leone's position that as a small and war-torn country, Sierra Leone advocates peaceful settlement through political negotiations, and believes it is necessary to address all parties' legitimate concerns on safety and security and to seek long-term solutions.

Meanwhile, practical measures should be taken to alleviate the impact of food and energy shortage on small and middle-sized countries in Africa and other regions, he added.

Sierra Leone's stance also reflects the consensus of most developing countries, Wang said, adding that China remains firmly committed to promoting peace talks and will work with other parties to do its utmost to mitigate the negative spillover effects of the Ukraine crisis.

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