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COCORIOKO » 2015 » October

Archive for October, 2015

President Koroma in New Delhi

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

 

By State House Communication Unit

NEW DELHI, India, 28th October, 2015 – His Excellency President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma and entourage arrived safely in the Indian capital of New Delhi to attend the Third India-Africa Forum Summit.

 PREZZO INDIA 5

PREZZO INDIA 1

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The president was welcomed at the Indira Ghandi International Airport by the Indian Minister of Textile Mr. Santos Gangawar, the Honorary Consul of Sierra Leone in India and Vice Chairman of Airtel Mr. Lakish Bahar Mittel, Airtel Managing Director in Sierra Leone Sudipto Chowdhury, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr Samura Kamara, Minister of Education, Science and Technology Dr Minkailu Bah, Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr Abu Bakarr Fofanah, Minister of Energy Ambassador Henry Macauley, Acting Minister of Trade and Industry Mabinty Daramy, Chairman Board of Directors of Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) Oluniyi Robin Coker, Chief Executive Officer of SLIEPA Raymond Gbekie, Chief Executive Officer Union Trust Bank James Sanpha Koroma, and several dignitaries of the Indian government.

A red carpet was rolled out for the president as he arrived with a high level delegation.

The entire airport and route leadng to the Oberoi Hotels & Resorts was adorned with the national flags of India and the 54 African countries participating in the Summit. Adorned in traditional Indian regalia, women presented bouquet of flowers to President Koroma.

A bilateral meeting between Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi with President Koroma is expected to take place on the margins of the Summit on 29th October.

PREZZO INDIA 7

 

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President Koroma will also meet with Indian business gurus, and the full day conference organised by the Indian-Africa Business Forum today 28th October, which was attended by a cross-section of the Sierra Leonean delegation, attracted some of the visiting African dignitaries and top businessmen from across Africa and India discussed areas of cooperation in sectors like Infrastructure, Agriculture, Healthcare, Energy including Renewable Energy.

Stay tuned for more updates on the activities of President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on this trip to India.

Sierra Leone’s anti-Government criminals produce fake Transparency International 2015 Report

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

If you read the report in the social media that the latest Transparency International 2015 Corruption Perception Report is out and that Sierra Leone is the most corrupt country in Africa, followed by Liberia, do not treat it seriously because it is fake. Anti-government criminals in the diaspora or at home in Sierra Leone who are mastering the art of cooking up fake news stories and commentaries are behind this latest outrage. What a shame to our nation.

How can people hate their own motherland so much because their political party is not in power to the extent that they will  produce fake reports to tarnish the reputation of the country and try to embarrass the government ?

What they have done this time is to  take a very old TI Report , polish it and criminally append the year 2015 to it, release it in the social media under the name of a fake media agency and claim it is the latest TI Corruption Perception Report.

fake-news-1

 

Somebody once said at a public function in New Jersey that if he were to become President , the first thing he will do will be to construct a maximum prisons facility at Banana Island, far away from public view, just for the incarceration of wicked people who hate their country so much that they will seek to demean and defame it criminally in the international world. The person said that it was criminality of the highest order to cook up fake stories about one’s country and publish them in the social media to destroy the image of the country, the international goodwill being enjoyed by the government and in the process jettison the country’s ability to get international aid and attract investment and tourists .

fake news 2

 

Transparency International has not released any 2015 report and the Anti-Corruption Commission ( ACC ) of Sierra Leone is angry about this latest mischief by Sierra Leoneans. What is more, in the most recent Transparency International Report ( 2014 )  Sierra Leone  was ranked  119 out of 175 countries. How could our nation have slipped so dramatically to virtually last in just a few months ? It is just not possible and secondly, Sierra Leone has been rising steeply up the ladder. Statistical calculations do not lend themselves to such dramatic changes in months. If they do, the researcher has mental problems and needs to see a shrink. But anti-government morons will stop at nothing to try to embarrass our country because their political party is not in power. Shame on them.

PUBLIC STATEMENT BY THE ACC

The Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC’s) attention has been drawn to a purported publication of Global Barometre report 2015. The Commission wishes to inform the public that there is no 2015 Global Barometre Report as at this time.

The story currently being bandied is information extracted from a report three (3) years ago.

Detractors and mischief propagandists are advised to refrain from conduct that will demean and stigmatize the country and people of Sierra Leone unduly.
The Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2014, ranked Sierra Leone 119 out of 175 countries. And more importantly, from 2010 to 2014, Sierra Leone has moved 39 spaces upwards.

Is SLPP For Sale?

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

 

By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop) :

With accusations and counter-accusations flying and countered by each and every one against each and every one within the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) of each and every one receiving monies from President Ernest Bai Koroma to destabilize the SLPP; the SLPPers are now giving the inferable impression that their party is the best opposition money can buy.

KANDEH YUMKELLA 2

 

After the SLPP current Leader and Chairman, ex-Paramount Chief Somano Kapen, began to be clay-footed towards the Maadarites’ agenda; he was and still is being accused of receiving monies from President Koroma and his ruling All People’s Congress (APC) to bulwark the so-called popularity of Julius Maada Bio. Some supporters within his party were, at some point, so suspicious of him that they even believed that he was the one who was leaking inside information to the APC for a fee.

When Dr Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella first mooted the idea of going for the flagbearership of the SLPP, supporters of Maada Bio accused him openly of him being the sponsored candidate of State Lodge. He was also accused of being a Fifth Columnist in the SLPP with the aim of diking the Maada Bio and John Benjamin tsunamis.

Again, when Andrew Keili reared his head again for him to be counted as one of the would-bes for the next presidential election, accusations of using monies from State House to finance his campaign emerged from other SLPP factions. He was even accused of being a sell-out for merely accepting a presidential appointment to serve in a Board.

And when John Oponjo Benjamin fired several salvos which accurately pin-holed the suitability of Julius Maada Bio to mascot the SLPP in the 2018 presidential election; he was accused by many members of the SLPP of being sponsored by President Koroma who was his college mate and still his friend.

Now, if almost all the SLPP presidential aspirants are accusing each other of receiving monies from President Koroma to destabilize their own party; then it logically follows that each of them must have got concrete evidence of each and every one receiving monies from the President. Or do they all have access to the State Lodge logbook of the President’s “Midnight Appointments”?

What is making this comedy of errors more interesting is the fact that while each presidential aspirant in the SLPP is accusing the others of receiving monies from the Leader and Chairman of the APC; President Koroma is publicly and emphatically saying that “there is no opposition in Sierra Leone”. To those who are good at surface-scratching; such a statement from a man who has generosity as part of his DNA means that he must have finally found out the Achilles heel of each of the current front runners of the SLPP flagbearership.

And I may be tempted to believe that President Koroma might have finally found Maada Bio’s Achilles heel. For there is no logical explanation for Maada Bio’s 390 degrees about-face-turn in terms of his former vociferous and anti-Koroma stance prior to him meeting the President about two weeks ago. Throughout his nationwide “Ebola sensitization tours” last week; I followed Maada Bio, who once-upon-a-time was anti-everything APC and Koroma, sounding more pro-Koroma and APC than even Mohamed Bangura of the United Democratic Movement (UDM). Maada Bio has even adopted and adapted President Koroma’s “this is not the time for politics” as his personal mantra!

I’m not inferring anything here. But was that last State House meeting with President Koroma Maada Bio’s “Damascus” where he eventually saw the “light”? Was his about thirty minutes close door meeting (after which he had an open door meeting) with the President convinced him that all what he was saying about and doing against President Koroma and his APC-led government were all wrong and that he had always been misinformed about the President’s handling of the Ebola funds? Or is Maada Bio now playing the Edward Bernstein’s “Objective Thinker” who is expected to alter his original conclusions when new facts come to light? What are the new facts that have suddenly metamorphosed Maada Bio from a chronic anti-Koroma basher to a newfound praise-singer? Or does Maada Bio current flip-flopping status has anything to do with him being a London-based jobless-babysitting father?

Can the real Maada Bio stand up, please? Is Bio suffering from what I will call the Ernest Koroma Effect? Just after the 2012 elections, Maada screamed blue murder that President Koroma stole his victory but recanted that stance immediately after meeting with the President at State House. Before now, according to Bio and his caboodles, President Koroma mismanaged the Ebola funds but commended President Koroma for his sagacious handling of the Ebola funds and crisis immediately after meeting with him at State House.

The tragic thing about politicians is that their statements and activities are always archived for future reference(s). So, in 2018 when the APC would be telling the electorate that they handled the Ebola funds with sagacity and the SLPP would want to dispute that assertion; the APC might just insert the video clip of Maada Bio commending President Koroma and his APC for their sagacious handling of the Ebola funds!

And knowing President Koroma as I do; if he is really interested in running for a third term he would definitely get it on an SLPP platter. Just as how the SLPP Minority Leader in Parliament, Dr Bernadette Lahai, nominated APC Chernor Bah to be Deputy Speaker; so she might also propose an amendment to the Constitution to allow the President run a third term. And with Maada Bio now sounding more pro-Koroma than even the Koromaists; he might be tasked to do the nationwide sensitizations on the President’s would-be third term bid as he now seems to be a specialist in “sensitizations”. And when one takes into cognisance that Dr Yumkella, John Benjamin and Andrew Keili are very good friends of President Koroma; then you could ask yourself the question: what will stop President Koroma from getting a third term if he really wants to?

What the SLPP is now suffering from is the Ernest Koroma Effect. This is because all the SLPP leaders always become pro-Koroma and soft-pedal their original anti-government stance every time they meet with the President face-to-face (whether in camera or open door). And with supporters of Maada Bio, Dr Yumkella, John Benjamin and Andrew Keili now accusing their presidential aspirants as receiving financial sponsorships from the President; the inference is that the SLPP is the best opposition money can buy! And I would not be surprised, tomorrow, if I see the SLPP selling shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

medsankoh@yahoo.com/+232-76-611-986

 

 

 

 

Two Sierra Leonean Government Officials saved in Pakistan’s earthquake

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Two Sierra Leonean Government Officials saved in Pakistan’s earthquake thumbnail

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Islamabad and other major cities of Pakistan on Monday, 26th October, 2015, leaving at least 140 dead and scores injured due to stampedes, building collapses and landslides. (Photo: One of the victims being rushed to the hospital)

The earthquake struck the Asian nation at 2:09 pm, six hours after a-two man Sierra Leone delegation arrived in Islamabad, the Pakistani official capital on an official assignment.

Press Attaché arrival in Pakistan

The two officials, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran who is also accredited to Pakistan, Dr. Muhammed B. Fofana and M.B. Jalloh, Sierra Leone Press Attaché based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and concurrently accredited to Sierra Leone Embassy in Iran and its areas of accreditation had completed a fruitful meeting with Pakistani Foreign Office officials when the earthquake struck.

A teenager rescued from a stampede

“The Almighty Allah saved our lives and we are back in our hotel after a very busy official engagement with Pakistani officials today,” the Ambassador says shortly after the incident.

He however expressed grief over the loss of lives in the natural calamity. The envoy sent condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved families of the victims of the tragic incident. “Our prayers and thoughts are with the brotherly people of Pakistan during this difficult period,” the Ambassador told the Director for Africa Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Babar Hashmi.

?Amb. Fofana meets Pakistani Foreign Ministry Officials

The Ambassador is scheduled to meet with the Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, the Ministers of Health, Commerce and Agriculture in the next few days.

Pakistani media reports say the death toll could rise in coming days because communications are down in much of the remote mountainous region.

 

WE NOW HAVE OUR OWN TV STATION

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

 

Two top journalists Cocorioko Publisher  Kabs Kanu  and free lancer Hamjat Jallomy Bah are collaborating to run a new TV station in Somerset, New Jersey, called the SIERRA CAST/ COCORIOKO TV .

The aim of the online TV station is to disseminate information of national and international interest to the international world.

We will also  be interviewing Sierra Leoneans on matters of supreme interest to our nation  .

Whenever President Ernest Koroma, ministers of the government and public officials come to the U.S, we now have our own TV station that will interview them and circulate their views throughout the world. This will help to rebrand Sierra Leone and counter negative perceptions and false reports about our President, officials and country. We will also interview other officials with a view to setting straight important matters affecting our nation. 

Additionally, the TV will promote  Sierra Leone-based community events in the U.S, especially New Jersey. We will interview Sierra Leoneans  who are making a difference in their communities. We will also feature credible  religious personalities in the community.

This will be a new dawn in mass communications in the Sierra Leone diaspora.

We will bring you more details about the SIERRACAST/COCORIOKO TV .

MEANWHILE, watch our first production–An interview conducted by Cocorioko Publisher Kabs Kanu–with NASSIT and HFC officials who just conducted an outreach in the U.S. This video will be played in Sierra Leone on the SLBC .

More Time…Ernest Koroma To Continue as National Chairman and Leader

Monday, October 26th, 2015

More Time…
EBK To Continue as National Chairman and Leader
By Sia Sonsiama

Youth leaders of the All Peoples Congress have in their messages of felicitation at the just concluded annual conference of the APC National Youth League Intensify their calls for more time to be given to President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to continue as National Chairman and Leader of the All Peoples Congress to ensure the party remains united and fit to continue in governance after the 2018 elections. This call was further concretized as a resolution of the just concluded annual conference of the National Youth League.

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Speaking at the annual conference in Makeni over the weekend, President of the National Youth League Comrade Bai Mahmoud Bangura in summing the aspirations of the youths of the party appealed to delegates to consider giving more time to President. He outlined the many fine attributes of President Koroma’s stewardship as National Chairman and Leader of the All Peoples Congress and admonished comrades who intend to succeed President Koroma as National Chairman and Leader of the APC to stay put and allow him more time.

“The Youth League is of the conviction that President Koroma’s contribution to the stability, unity and progress of the party is still needed and is of great value to the party’s continued stay in governance,” he said, adding President Koroma has changed the fortunes of the APC since taking the party from opposition to governance and having twice won presidential elections in 2007 and 2012.

He lauded the level of progress and development going on across the country through the implementation of the Agenda for Prosperity but lamented that this progress as temporarily stalled as a result of the Ebola outbreak.

He paid tribute to the members of the APC National Youth League, and all those, who died of the Ebola disease and also lauded the role played by the members of the National Youth League and all the youths of the country in the fight against Ebola.
Secretary of the National Youth League Comrade Alie Conteh while dilating on the theme: ‘Taking lessons from the past and current state of affairs of the APC: What can the youth offer to sustain the party in governance’, said one way the National Youth League think they can offer to sustain the party in governance is to trumpet and support the call to allow President Koroma more time to continue as National Chairman and Leader of the party.

Several well-wishing youths and delegates who graced and attended the conference told We Yone the call to allow President Koroma to continue as National Chairman and Leader of the party gathered steam during pre-conference consultations held at ward and constituency levels.
Political analysts say this call could be misunderstood as a strategy in support of a third term bid, but youth leaders of the APC insist the more time concept is not about a third term bid for President Koroma but about sustaining the APC’s continued stay in governance.

At the end of the two-day session, the National Youth League of the All Peoples Congress, as part of the resolutions adopted at the end of the conference, resolved that President Koroma should be given more time to continue as National Chairman and Leader of the party after he would have completed his second term of office as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Youths’ Confidence in President Koroma’s leadership justified

Monday, October 26th, 2015

By KABS KANU :

The youths of Sierra Leone have tremendous confidence in the leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma. They have demonstrated it in many platforms and in sundry occasions that they respect President Koroma and believe that under the leadership of the man variously called “EBK” , “The World’s Best” and “Nesto”,  Sierra Leone is in very good hands.

president koroma and the youths

PRESIDENT KOROMA AND THE YOUTHS

The youths of the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) in their annual National Conference  last weekend enunciated ,  drummed home and re-echoed the views of the generality of youths in the country. The President of the National Youth League , Mr.  Bai Mahmoud Bangura stressed that “The Youth League is of the conviction that President Koroma’s contribution to the stability, unity and progress of the party is still needed and is of great value to the party’s continued stay in governance.” He and various speakers extolled the President’s Agenda For Prosperity which is giving birth to impressive socio-economic and political change and national development through the length and breadth of the country.

When on looks at all the national development taking place in the country under the leadership of President Koroma, it is obvious that the confidence the youths have in him is not misplaced. It is justified.

The sentiments expressed by youths in Makeni last weekend represent a profound  victory not only for the nation but the ruling All People’s Congress. At a time when youths in many African countries and even in the diaspora are kicking against their heads of state and seeking the downfall of their governments , their compatriots in Sierra Leone are so impressed by their President and government that they are even asking for more time to be given the President to complete the magnificent job he is doing for the nation.

The youths constitute the majority of the population of any country ,which is why their voice is often said to be the microcosm of the wishes of a nation. They made many more suggestions at their congress last weekend about how Sierra Leoneans can move their nation forward.

Let us , as a people,  sit down , and in an atmosphere divorced from partisan politics , ethnicity and personal vainglory ,  give our thoughts to the recipe for more national development prescribed by the youths. We shall revisit the issues raised by the youths on a regular basis as we go along.

Sierra Leone is our country. We know better what we need in our country to develop it . Outsiders cannot decide for us how we move our country forward because every nation has its own peculiar circumstances. What is good for one country may not be good for another. Let Sierra Leoneans decide on the way forward for their country and our national destiny because we know the best formula  not only for  the socio-economic and political transformation of our country but uniting our great people .

HERE IS A PICTORIAL DISPLAY OF THE APC YOUTHS NATIONAL CONFERENCE YESTERDAY

APC YOUTH CONFERENCE  1

APC YOUTH CONFERENCE 2

APC YOUTH CONFERENCE 3

 

 

Africa-India summit opens in New Delhi

Monday, October 26th, 2015

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Expanding trade ties, particularly in the energy sector, topped the agenda as Indian and African leaders kicked off their largest-ever summit in New Delhi on Monday.

Fifty-four countries, including more than 40 African heads of state, were gathered for the 3rd India-Africa Forum Summit, aimed at boosting political, economic and trade ties. Bilateral trade between India and Africa amounts to around 70 billion dollars a year, a move that would see the summit likely announcing expanded trade targets and broader economic linkages, officials said.

Energy will feature prominently in the talks as India imports 70 per cent of its oil, mostly from the politically volatile Middle East, and is looking to diversify its energy sources. Indian diplomats said other areas of discussion include maritime security and counter-terrorism cooperation in the backdrop of a growing arc of terrorism from Nigeria to Somalia. India and African countries have also been demanding a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, calling for reforms in the world body to reflect contemporary realities.

This year’s summit is much larger than the 2008 and 2011 versions, which featured only 15 African countries. Foreign ministers from the countries planned to meet on Tuesday, followed by the main summit among leaders on Thursday. Ahead of the meeting, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, said the summit would mark the beginning of a “new era of mutual partnerships.” Heavy security was deployed in the Indian capital, including at the Indira Gandhi stadium, which was converted into a makeshift convention centre for the summit.

Youths of the APC call for more time for President Ernest Koroma

Monday, October 26th, 2015

THE HEART OF THE MATTER
More Time…
No Third Term
By Idrissa Balogun Tejan

Youths of the All Peoples Congress have called for more time to be given to President Koroma. This call has been misunderstood by critics of the party and some sections of the media who are again at their usual shenanigans to blindfold the wider public to believe President Koroma and the All Peoples Congress are nursing an ambition to extend the current tenure of his presidency beyond 2018.

APC YOUTH CONFERENCE 3

 

Let it be made very clear at this onset that this call for more time is not about wanting an extension or extra time or a third term. The issue of a third term or an extra time had long been laid to rest despite several attempts by critics and sections of the media to reawaken the discussion on uncountable number of instances. It had long been laid to rest that President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma will not be seeking a single day beyond his current constitutional mandate and what has been made very clear is that the APC wishes to continue in service to the people by winning future local council, parliamentary and presidential elections in the country.

It has often been said that the APC has no reason to engage in unconventional and unconstitutional methods to continue to stay in governance. Therefore, to paint such a negative picture about a political party proving itself as a political institution that is relevant to the overall wellbeing of the nation and the people and acting in accordance with section 35 of the 1991 constitution is most unfair, to say the least.

This call for more time is not about a third term or an extension of the current tenure. It is an intraparty call for action which borders on how the youths of the party think the party can best manage its transition process taking from lessons learnt from the past to sustain the party in governance.
Managing transition processes in political parties is fundamental. From lessons of the past, the inability of political parties to efficiently manage transition processes has often led to a political party’s failure to win elections, lacking a national character and disintegration. Sierra Leone’s political history is stained with incidents of inefficient management of transition processes in political parties from which a party like the APC will draw experiences to avoid mistakes of the past.

The Peoples Democratic party (PDP), the United National People’s Party (UNPP), and even the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) have testimonies of how not to best manage a transition process from which the APC, bearing in mind the experience of the transition process from Siaka Stevens to Joseph Saidu Momoh and the consequences on the party, can draw best practices for an efficient transition process.

The APC has been prudent in managing President Koroma’s transition and the youths of the party are of the conviction the party can continue to best manage the transition process if President Koroma is given more time to continue as the National Chairman and Leader of the party especially so that the 5th December 1995 constitution of the APC does not place a limit on the number of times a member can serve as an elected officer of the party.
This is a call that has been gathering momentum from amongst card carrying members, sympathizers and well wishers of the party.

 

It has now officially been presented to the rank and file of the party with appeals for consideration from the Women’s Congress, the Veterans, disable wing and all other structures of the party including the National Advisory Committee which is the second highest decision making body of the party. The call will now form part of an agenda for any future meeting of the National Advisory Committee and the upcoming national delegates’ conference in 2016.

This APC style of doing things is what stamps out the party as a battle tested and proven political party which owes its existence in the strength of its structures and is procedural to the letter in the conduct of its activities.
There can be no denial of the fact that the APC is at the crossroad and that any mistake will incur disastrous consequences for the party. The party is indeed at a critical junction in moving forward.

The youth of the party are combining the past and the present for the future of the party. Unlike other political party youths who are being used as instruments of violence, the APC youths are proving themselves as the custodians of the party’s future. And by calling for more time for President Koroma as National Chairman and Leader of the party they are expressing their conviction and faith in the leadership of the man that has committed his government and his continued stay in politics to the service of the youths and young people of this country.

This, unarguably, is the most positive intervention of the National Youth League in shaping the future direction of the party.

This call has now gain the attention of the rank and file of the party and will in the not distance future be discussed by NAC for the ratification and possible adoption at the next national delegates conference.

 

President Ernest Koroma to attend India-Africa Summit

Monday, October 26th, 2015

 

By State House Communication Unit

President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, leading a high-level delegation, left the shores of Freetown this evening Sunday 25 October to attend the Third India Africa Forum Summit to be held in Delhi, India from 26-30 October 2015.

During the five-day visit, President Koroma is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Indian officials to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

INDIA-AFRICA SUMMIT

 

The president will also address the Indian Africa Forum Summit where he is expected to highlight Sierra Leone’s strides in the fight against Ebola and also showcase the country’s efforts at economic growth and business and investment potentials.

The summit is going to be the Modi government’s biggest diplomatic outreach involving delegates from many African countries.

Indian-Sierra Leone relations date as far back as several decades ago. This summit will provide another unique opportunity for both countries to fully harness the bilateral framework for productive cooperation between the two countries.