The Arab Republic of Egypt stands ready to provide support to Liberia in its drive to improve its education, trade, science and technology, and peace and development.
Egyptian Special Envoy Mohamed Edrees, who was in the country from Nov. 4-7, explained that Egypt is determined to support Liberia’s quest for sustainable peace.
“Egypt values Liberia’s relationship and it is important that we carry out constant engagements to develop our pan-African spirit that could lead to major areas of necessity for both countries,” Ambassador Edrees said.
Now that Egypt is playing more critical roles in the world, the Ambassador said “We are interested to learn from other African countries about their challenges so that we can work together to ease them.” Ambassador Edrees spoke about Egypt’s historical role in Africa, supporting the Organization of
African Unity (now African Union) against colonial domination.
“Even though Liberia did not fight for its independence, along with Ethiopia, Liberia nevertheless spearheaded major initiatives that Egypt is aware of and therefore my government is willing to share with you how we have solved many of our problems,” Ambassador Edrees said.
He noted that most often Africa’s problems came from abroad which, more often than not, have failed to provide lasting solutions. “African problems should have African solutions,” Ambassador Edrees said, “and therefore when we are able to get our young people to work together, to understand each other, we would have made a major progress in finding solutions for our problems.”
To that end, Ambassador Edrees recommended exchanges of students, professors, journalists, among others, to cement the already cordial ties between the two countries.
He said the importance of African identity should not be overlooked because chances are foreign cultures have become the norm in many countries and, as a result, have eroded Africa’s cultural values.
“We in Egypt are working with multitude of groups from other African countries to ensure that we are able to identify problems and suggest solutions,” he said.
Speaking earlier at the University of Liberia auditorium to a graduate and faculty class, Ambassador Edrees recounted Egypt’s relations with Liberia that date back to 1952, when its embassy near Monrovia was established.
“Since that time we are glad to report to you that we never left this country; and even during the Ebola crisis, we were here with you fighting the disease together,” he said. “I think diplomacy should be more than symbolic presence and it must go beyond that to people to people, trade, sports, culture and others.”
“We must begin now to take advantage of what each country can offer the other because we in Egypt are willing to share and cooperate with you Liberians in every sphere of our development,” Ambassador Edrees said.
He revealed that during the recent 150th celebration of the Egyptian parliament, a special committee was set up to look into issues that affect Africa, including a center for post conflict reconstruction.
He commended the Liberian government for its support to the University of Liberia, describing it as one of the oldest higher institutions in Africa.
Ambassador Edrees was in the country as part of a regional tour to meet leaders in the West Africa sub-Region and to share Egypt’s current unique position to work and share its progress and challenges.