President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio addresses the United Nations, September 2022.
President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio addresses the United Nations, September 2022.REUTERS/Mike Segar

Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio has expressed readiness to establish an embassy in Jerusalem, a statement from that country's government said.

"His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio had a progressive telephone conversation with Eli Cohen, the Foreign Minister of the State of Israel, today, August 24, 2023," a statement from the Sierra Leone government said.

"They discussed the warm relations between both countries that dates back to 1961 when Sierra Leone gained independence. As part of efforts to strengthen the relationship between the two nations, His Excellency President Bio expressed his government’s readiness to establish an Embassy of Sierra Leone in Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel."

Responding to the Sierra Leone statement, Foreign Minister Cohen said, "It was a pleasure talking with you, President Julius Maada Bio."

"Thank you for your friendship and commitment to deepen the relations between Sierra Leone and Israel. Establishing an embassy in Jerusalem our eternal capital is an important step in this direction. I look forward to hosting you in Israel, at the inauguration of the embassy of Sierra Leon in Jerusalem."

In a separate statement, Cohen added, "We continue to place Jerusalem, our eternal capital, at the top of the State of Israel's diplomatic priority list."

Israel does not currently have an embassy in Sierra Leone; however, Israel's ambassador to Ghana is responsible for Israel's affairs in Sierra Leone as well.