Blair meets leaders, donors in Sierra Leone

16th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Former British prime minister Tony Blair was in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown Thursday at the start of a three-day visit which will see him hold talks with political leaders and aid groups.

As well as talks with President Ernest Koroma, Blair had scheduled meetings with religious leaders, said state media in the west African nation.

The former prime minister will also attend a two-day round table session with donors and investors which begins Friday, the same day that he is due to deliver an address at State House.

Blair has paid a number of visits to Sierra Leone since standing down as premier in 2007, opening an office here as part of his African Governance Initiative, which assists countries to develop their private sector and improve governance.

He remains highly popular in Sierra Leone for his decision to send in British troops at the height of a brutal civil war in which 120,000 people were killed as rival factions fought over the country's diamonds.

© 2011 AFP

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