President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has received the Letters of Credence of the first ever Qatari Ambassador to be accredited to Liberia, Mr. Mohammad Ismail Al Emadi.
Receiving his letters of credence, President Sirleaf told Ambassador Al Emadi that as his country’s first Ambassador accredited to Liberia, he has the historic task of setting the course and tone of diplomatic engagement between Liberia and Qatar. “I am convinced,” she said, “that you will use your best efforts to further strengthen these ties even further during your tour of duty.”
President Sirleaf said that Ambassador Al Emadi presence in Liberia marks yet another milestone in Liberia-Qatar relations and that she and her government officials are optimistic that he will contribute to further cementing these ties for the mutual benefit of the two countries and peoples.
The Liberian leader, speaking during the ceremony at the Foreign Ministry last week praised the ties of friendship between the two countries, which she said gained new momentum following her State Visit to Qatar in 2009 and the establishment of diplomatic relations.
“During that visit, the two countries agreed on the exchange of resident diplomatic representation at the ambassadorial level, and Liberia established its Embassy in Doha in June 2011,” President Sirleaf said.
She recalled the role of the Government of Qatar to underwrite the cost of the Embassy and provide transportation for two years, which accelerated its opening. She also thanked the Government of Qatar for providing US$24,000 which facilitated six Liberian Muslims on the holy mission to Hajj to fulfill their religious duty which they may not have otherwise afforded.
The Liberian leader reminded Ambassador Al Emadi that the Liberian Government has reviewed proposed agreements of cooperation between the two countries in the areas of Mining, Investment Protection, Avoidance of Double Taxation, Labor and Labor Force, and the Air Service and that a feedback has been communicated to his Government, except for the MOU on Air Services, which will follow shortly.
“We look forward to further enhancing our interactions and bilateral cooperation when these agreements are concluded,” the Liberian leader said.
President Sirleaf also briefed the Qatari Ambassadoor about her government’s Agenda for Transformation (afT), a five-year program aimed at supporting nearly all the pillars of Vision 2030, which she noted that in order to make it successful, the necessary conditions are being established to attract the kinds of investment that will create jobs to put the hundreds of thousands of our unemployed young people to work and broaden the economy and the tax base.
President Sirleaf invited, through their Ambassador, Qatari capital and private sector to participate with the Government in this endeavor.
She indicated that Qatar and Liberia are both small countries and can learn much from each other, and noted with commendation the great strides Qatar has made in technological advancement, infrastructure and communications, and said that these achievements have made Qatar a major international player.
President Sirleaf assured Ambassador Al Emadi of her Government’s fullest support and commitment to providing all the necessary assistance that he may need to succeed.
While presenting his part, Ambassador Al Emadi said he is honored to be the first Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Liberia and will make great efforts to develop bilateral relations between both countries in all aspects – politically, economically and culturally – for the benefit of the two countries.
“The State of Qatar is working to conclude a number of agreements to create a fertile common ground to this mutual cooperation between the two countries,” he said.
Ambassador Al Emadi said the State of Qatar has great interest in developing cooperation and friendship with the African continent, and special interest in cooperating with all of West Africa and Liberia in particular in economics, trade, investment, and in enhancing the relations in culture and athletics.
“The opening of the Embassy of Qatar in Monrovia would contribute in further deepening this cooperation, and lift the diplomatic relations to new horizons,” he emphasized.
The State of Qatar opened its Embassy near Monrovia a year ago, on November 15, 2012. The presentation of Ambassador Al Emadi’s Letters of Credence to President Sirleaf completes another phase in the growing relations between the two countries.
Ambassador Al Emadi was accompanied to the ceremony by Embassy staff, including the Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Abdullah Al Yami; the Diplomatic Attaché, Mr. Tameem Essa Al Sayed; and the Executive Secretary to the Qatari Ambassador, Mr. Sheku Dakowa.