Ethiopia, Liberia Tighten Diplomatic Ties

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TAfrica’s two oldest independent nations, Ethiopia and Liberia, have once more pledged diplomatic cooperation to cement bilateral relations and foster cohesion that would ensure that member states of the African continent are held together with a destiny of purpose.

The commitment for further diplomatic cooperation between both countries were made on Tuesday when the new ambassador accredited to Liberia, Gifti Abasiya, presented her letters of credence to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at her Foreign Ministry office in Monrovia.

Liberia and Ethiopia are two countries that were never colonized. They were safe from the wrath of the scramble for Africa, and they became voices of the continent leading the struggle for Africa’s independence and unity.

President Sirleaf, at the ceremony, reechoed the historic ties that have existed between Liberia and Ethiopia, while highlighting tremendous contributions both nations have made together in promoting Pan-African spirit through the formation of the Organization of African Unity (now African Union—AU) in the early 1960s.

She called for the resuscitation of Joint Cooperation Agreements that existed between both countries in the past in the interest of both countries and their peoples by giving meaning and relevance to these agreements.

She reiterated that both countries share unique historical similarities of not being colonized by any colonial power, and recounted the close relationship between the late President William V. S. Tubman of Liberia and Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, who worked tirelessly towards the formation of the then O.A.U. to forge a common African solidarity and brotherhood.

The great Emperor Selassie visited Liberia in the early 1960s after his counterparts had paid numerous visits to that country.

President Sirleaf praised the people of Ethiopia for their resilience against severe drought and famine, coupled with civil conflicts that the country suffered in the early 1980s. She lauded Ethiopia for the level of transformation and unprecedented development the country is currently experiencing.

She hailed former leader Meles Zenawi as a visionary leader and said she has no doubt that the current Prime Minister, Haile Mariam Dessalegn, would continue in the path of such a good legacy.

Upon presenting her letters of credence, Ambassador Abasiya thanked President Sirleaf for the audience, noting that “there was a compelling need to accelerate the pace of closer cooperation that will bring benefits to our two countries.”

She acknowledged progress made under the leadership of President Sirleaf, “which has largely brought hope to her country and people.” She then conveyed a special message of warmth and best wishes from Prime Minister Haile Mariam Dessalegn to his Liberian counterpart.

She said Ethiopia is prepared to work along with Liberia particularly at the level of the African Union (AU) to promote and advance the mutual interest and aspirations of the two nations. She hoped that the relationship will continue to be nurtured in the coming years.

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