By: Musa Kamara
The twit by President Bio on the establishment of an embassy by Sierra Leone in City of Jerusalem in Israel has been considered by many Sierra Leoneans as a serious blunder on the part of his information team.
At the weekly press conference by the Ministry of Information and Civic Education, the Minister, Chernor Bah admitted that it was a mistake on the side of government to announce that Sierra Leone will be establishing an Embassy in Jerusalem.
Giving clarifications on the said tweet, the Minister remarked that, the message was “misrepresented,” saying that, it is not per say, that, Sierra Leone only has an option to establish an embassy in Jerusalem, but he stressed that, Sierra Leone will be establishing an embassy in the State of Israel, and that could be anywhere in Israel.
He said, this is a bid to improve economic and bilateral ties between the two countries.
Whiles emphasizing that, it was a mistake on the side of government to announce that, they will be establishing an embassy in Jerusalem and taking full responsibility for the blunder, Minister Bah however encouraged pressmen to help report the correct version of the message.
Which according to him is that, the Government of Sierra Leone is set to establish an embassy to the State of Israel, and that could be in any city in the country.
On August 24th 2023, President Julius Maada Bio announced on X, formerly Twitter that, Sierra Leone will be establishing an embassy in the disputed city of Jerusalem, which the State of Israel is claiming as its capital, despite protest by Palestinians who are demanding that the east of the city should become their future capital.
President Julius Maada Bio referred to the “warm relations” between the two countries, adding that he had had “a progressive telephone conversation” with Israel’s Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen, in the tweet. Adding that he “expressed his government’s readiness to establish an Embassy of Sierra Leone in Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel.”
Formal diplomatic ties between the two nations were established in 1961 when Sierra Leone gained independence. Nevertheless, the country does not currently maintain a diplomatic mission in Israel.
Cohen welcomed the move, responding in a statement, he said “I was pleased to hear from the president of Sierra Leone of his intentions to open an embassy in Jerusalem. We continue to put Jerusalem, our eternal capital, at the top of the State of Israel’s diplomatic agenda.”