Weah’s Visit, France’s Largess -Liberia’s COVID-19 Fight Bolstered -AFL International Standing Upped
President George Manneh Weah paid a visit to Paris, France; what’s the big deal? There are those who are asking the question, which is not different from pessimists’ reactions to news that the President was on his way to that country. Such high profile visits are normally easily dismissed because the benefits are always not seen immediately. But they come substantively months and years after. In the case of the pessimists’ verdict on the Weah visit, there would have been celebrations now had the President returned without the mountain of parcels hauled from the huge plane the other day at the Roberts International Airport. Yet, others still say, what’s the big deal about testing kits, as if they don’t know that fighting and defeating any pandemic begins with testing, which is the only surest means that paves the way for separating the infected from the uninfected, taking the infected for early treatment and saving their dear lives. And, as The Analyst reports, there are more to President Weah’s visit to France than a fixed cynical mind would behold.
Following nearly weeklong visit to Paris, the Republic of France, President George Manneh and delegation returned to the country Saturday, July 2, 2021, with huge smiles as they appear overwhelmed by welcoming results achieved during their stay.
Earlier, President Weah on Monday, June 28, 2021left the country to participate in the Generation Equality Forum which several other world dignitaries attended. He delivered a statement at the program.
But as he was departing the country, the opposition community went amok with denunciation of the trip, stating that he should not have left as the deadly coronavirus pandemic was surging and claiming lives.
They contended that the trip was unbeneficial to the country and that it would be a waste of state resources traveling out when the economy of Liberia was struggling.
There were others who propagandized that the President was departing along with his wife, First Lady Clar Marie Weah, to celebrate their wedding anniversary in plush Paris hotels.
Some also posited that it was heartless the President and a sizable delegation were leaving Liberia for mere fanfare, because according to them, they would not be able to talk to high profile government officials of France on the trip.
Live pictures transmitted from the Roberts International Airport by a throng of journalists appear to contract all the naysayers and pessimists.
Though before the arrival of the President, the good news about the French government’s magnanimity was already broken to the effect that President Weah was actually meeting with high-level officials of France, including President Emmanuel Macron, and the French government had pledged nearly 60,000 rapid COVID-19 testing kits and a number of respirators, some critics still were not convinced.
Then a gigantic commercial airplane arrived Saturday evening that the RIA, and immediately as it berthed, forklifts burst into noise, hauling out huge consignments of the rapid antigenic tests and respirators.
While the consignments were still on display, a turning over ceremony was being held at the foot of the RIA terminal.
French Ambassador Michaël Roux unveiled the donation when he disclosed that it contained some 56,800 rapid antigenic tests as well as 4 OSIRIS3 Transport Respirators.
He said the gift was intended to aid and strengthen the Government’s capacity to contain COVID-19 fight.
The donation was actually in fulfillment of promised by President Emmanuel Macron when he and President Weah had a tete-a-tete in Paris last week.
Ambassador Michaël Roux said the donation was his government’s way of boasting Liberian people’s fight against COVID-19.
President Weah thanked the government of France on behalf of the people of Liberia for what he considered the “continuous support of France to Liberia at a time of medical emergency crisis”.
The President said further: “Let me thank the government and people of France for their wonderful gift as a result of meeting with my friend and brother, President Macron. I take Liberia-France relations very seriously.”
He assured the French government of Liberia’s commitment in ensuring that the relationship between the two countries will remain cordial from time to time.