A proposed political dialogue is expected to take place between Liberia and the European Union (EU) Delegation accredited near Monrovia.
This was disclosed to Foreign Minister Marjon V. Kamara Friday, March 18, by the head of the EU Delegation to Liberia, Ms. Tiina Intelmann, who seeks the backing of the Ministry in order for this meeting to be a success.
Ms. Intelmann, along with other EU Ambassadors from Sweden, Germany, Great Britain and France, had come to pay a courtesy call on the Foreign Minister, when she (Intelmann) made this known to the nation’s First Diplomat.
The head of EU Delegation told Minister Kamara that she and other colleagues from EU nations, working together as one unit, had two important things to discuss with her. They included the planned United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) draw-down and the upcoming Presidential and Legislative Election in 2017.
On the UNMIL draw-down plan, Ms. Intelmann said the Delegation is working with all the major stakeholders, including the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which works with local governments in the 15 political subdivisions of Liberia.
She also stated that on the upcoming elections, they were interested in political dialogues among and between political parties on one hand and political parties and the government on the other.
It is for the elections that the EU Delegation has planned the political dialogue, which they want the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to head on the Liberian side.
Ms. Intelmann asked Minister Kamara to consider inviting some members of the National Legislature to participate in the discussions during the forum, which might be for a day.
She stated that they have decided to include the lawmakers in order for them to know what the EU is thinking as the nation prepares to go to elections in 2017.
The EU Delegation head also told the Foreign Minister that the Union has earmarked more than US$300 million for Liberia and this fund will be managed by the Delegation and the Liberian Government.
She disclosed that the EU and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) recently signed a US$20 million agreement, which is aimed at the security sector in the wake of the UNMIL drawdown. She further stated that the EU has given the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) US$10 million, which is being managed for the National Elections Commission (NEC).
The head of the EU Office in Liberia also told Minister Kamara that the Union and Liberia have entered into contractual agreement in order for the latter to manage the country’s forest sector and also to develop the fishery sector.
Ms. Intelmann concluded by telling the Minister that they are glad that she would be a good conduit for them to reach other sectors of the Liberian Government.
Responding, Foreign Minister Kamara thanked the EU for its persistent support to Liberia.
“I am privileged that I have taken over at the time when our relationship with EU is very strong. From our side, I am sure we are being sensitive to your interests generally and as individual nations,” she stated.
Ms. Kamara said she was glad that Liberia has good friends within the EU as the nation was now approaching a critical juncture— the draw-down of UNMIL, which has managed the nation’s security for more than a decade and the upcoming elections, which will be a smooth transition from one elected government to another.
On UNMIL drawdown, she hoped that talks can be established among all the major security sector stakeholders, including international partners, in order for them to have a common position while awaiting a UN Security Council Security Mission, which will be sent to Liberia on fact finding by the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, sometime in September 2016.
Minister Kamara’s suggestion was buttressed by UK Ambassador, Mr. David Belgrove.