Liberia’s Diplomacy Bolstered – Weah Accepts 6 Ambassadors’ Letters of Credence, More Expected Today
Barely 24 hours after the celebration of the Coalition for Democratic Change CDC government under the leadership of President George Manneh Weah, 12 diplomats from three continents have tendered their letters of credence to the Liberian leader.
Thursday, January 24, was like a miraculous moment as staffs of the Liberian State House and the media overworked and witnessed the caravan of diplomats presenting their Letters of Credence and exchanging pleasantries with President Weah.
President Weah and his Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor won the 2017 elections and were inaugurated into office on January 22nd 2018 amid high suspicion and criticism that the international community would not work with their government if they won.
The clamor to present letters of credence since the advent of the Weah administration, again bolstered by 12 ambassador from 12 countries across the world, appear to contradicts the claims by opposition politicians that the government of President Weah was not going find favor with other nations of the world.
The Israeli Ambassador, Shani Cooper who used the occasion to present a specially made Number 14 Jersey to President Weah, promised Israel’s commitment to working with and supporting the government of President Weah by the government and people of Israel.
Ambassador Shani Cooper said the government and people of Israel would promote Israeli investment in Liberia and will work with Israeli companies to invest in separate areas including heath, communication and agriculture among others to help the Liberian government strengthen its economy recovery programs.
She indicated that the potential of trade and economic relations between Liberia and Israel is growing with the presence of Israel companies in Liberia and that opportunities would further be expanded on as the two countries continue to promote bilateral cooperation.
The Israeli diplomat said her government and people were in full readiness to support President Weah’s administration in every sector of national development so as to boom the Liberian economy.
“I will do everything in my power to promote and strengthen the relationship between Israel and Liberia, as you may be aware both Countries were established on the foundation of Liberty and Peace and that the government and people of Israel will proudly receive you (President Weah) in Israel by February this year”, Ambassador Shani Cooper told President Weah.
In response, President George Manneh Weah recounted the long standing Liberia-Israeli relationship that existed to the beneficiary of both countries in every sector of national and human development, emphasizing the importance for Liberia and Israel to further strengthen the promotion of the already existing bilateral relationship between the two nations of the world.
He said he look forward for both countries to rekindle their relationship to ensure that both government work in the interest of their respective peoples and countries.
“Liberia and Israel share one common interest which must be consolidated in the spirit of peace common understanding,” the President stressed.
President Weah acknowledged the longstanding relationship between Israel and Liberia and pledged to work harder in bringing additional values to the relationship between the two countries during this term.
Other ambassadors presenting their respective letters of credence to President George Manneh Weah include Czech Republic, Uganda, Norway, Brukinafaso and Spain.
The Ambassador of Republic of Czechoslovakia, Ambassador Margita Fuchova, said she was honored to be in Liberia and to take assignment on behalf of her government and people.
“First of all, let me congratulate you, Mr. President, on your ascendency to the Liberian presidency,” she said, fondly recalling the cordiality of the diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The Czech envoy said she was hopeful of a deeper and dynamic relationship between the two countries in the coming years. She hailed Liberia for choosing the path of peace and prosperity, which she said the Czech Republic was ready to support.
She also spoke of her country’s readiness to strengthen the economic relations between Liberia and Czechoslovakia, mainly in the areas of trade and investment.
“Czech investors are ready and willing to contribute to improving the living standards of Liberians through investment in energy, agriculture, mining, education and healthcare,” she said.
For his part, the Ambassador Extraordinary/Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uganda, H.E. Nelson Ocheger, conveyed best wishes to the Liberian leader and people of Liberia from President Yuweri Museveni, stating that he was overwhelmed by the warmth reception and opportunity granted him by the President.
The Ambassador took specific note of the longtime cordial bilateral relations between Liberia and Uganda. He pledged to work to consolidate ties between the two countries.
The Ugandan envoy said he would use his stay in Liberia to focus on political and diplomatic relations and other areas of mutual interest to the two countries for the benefit of their peoples.
He noted the governments and peoples of the two countries have not seen much of the benefit of the relations, apart from technical experiences.
Ambassador Ocheger said there are several areas of mutual interest that can be explored in the coming years to make Liberia-Uganda relations stronger and beneficial. These, he said, included the areas of mining exploration and exploitation, education and health, energy and infrastructure.
He recalled the signing of African Free Trade which he said presented an opportunity to the two countries to begin investing in infrastructure, water and rail transport to facilitate the movement between the two countries and the continent at large.
“Given the challenges we face, it is time for us to begin to focus on trading. It is time for us to begin trading as a region so that we can fit in the regional and international trading order,” he said.
He said it was important for the two countries to work together to skill their youthful populations, proposing the establishment of a corporation framework through which the two governments can work to achieve this goal.
Responding, President Weah welcomed and congratulated Ambassador Ocheger for his preferment to represent his country in Liberia.
The President disclosed that he was not surprised that the Ugandan Ambassador was in Liberia weeks after he and President Museveni had met in China and discussed ways to strengthen their Liberia-Uganda relations.
President indicated it was imperative that Liberia, which is Africa’s oldest independent republic, work with other countries to promote regional peace and integration in order to strength African corporation.
Also presenting his letter of Credence, Norway Ambassador Gunnar Andreas Holm reflected on the existing ties between the two countries and noted how Norway has been engaged with Liberia, contributing to the electricity sector.
The Norway envoy recalled fond memories of President Weah’s address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and his call for global fusion against climate change. He said Norway and Liberia share similar positions on other critical global issues and called for the need to work harder to achieve those goals.
President Weah thanked him and expressed his government’s determination to work with the Kingdom for the benefits of their people.
Also, Ambassadors Mahamadou Zango and Ricardo Lopez-Arana Jagu of Burkina Faso and Spain expressed delight for representing their respective countries. They promised to work toward expanding and consolidating the ties between their countries and Liberia.
On behalf of the government and people of Liberia, President Weah welcomed them and spoke highly of the ties among the countries and how they could achieve through greater collaboration.
It is expected that six other ambassadors, from Australia, Thailand, Guinea Bissau, Italy and Vietnam, will be presenting letters.