Israeli Ambassador to Liberia and Ghana Ami Mehl has said his country is prepared to assist Liberia in various areas of expertise, including technology, agriculture, security, trade etc., in order to consolidate the bilateral ties that exist between the two countries.
Ambassador Mehl made the statement recently when his country, through the Israel mission in Liberia celebrated her 70th Independence Anniversary for the first time in Liberia in 30 years.
Israel and Liberia’s relations date as far back as the 1950s when Israeli Foreign Minister Golda Meir in 1958 established a relationship with Liberia during her tour of Africa between 1956 and 1966.
Liberia in 1947 cast the deciding vote at the United Nations (UN), leading to the establishment of the State of Israel.
Liberia and Israel have enjoyed mutual relations over the years since its establishment. The relationship was, however, interrupted by the civil war.
The relationship was infused with new energy in 2017, with a visit to Liberia of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was invited by then ECOWAS chairperson, outgoing Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, to address the summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Prime Minister Netanyahu, who toured other parts of Africa at the time, indicated in his speech during the ECOWAS Summit that Israel was prepared to use that occasion to explore Africa for mutually beneficial opportunities.
“The State of Israel has managed to change within 70 years from a country that mainly focused on export of oranges to a country that exports technological innovations. Israel has become synonymous to quality as well, and her businesses would be happy to share with Liberia the Israeli technological abilities for the benefit of all Liberia,” Ambassador Mehl emphasized.
As a manifestation of consolidating the ties between Israel and Liberia, Ambassador Mehl said his country’s well-known agency for international development otherwise referred to as MASHAV is involved in ongoing projects in aqua culture and emergency medicine, with more expected to come.
In technology, Israel has invested also in water treatment, recycling of sewage water, water purification and sea water desalination, and has become world-class in Cyber Technology.
Ambassador Mehl disclosed that in the upcoming summer 10 Liberians will go to Israel for a one-year program of training in agriculture.
Furthermore, the Israeli diplomat said Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor is expected to participate in a Women Leadership conference in Israel soon.
He also said they are planning on a convenient time and date to be set for President George Weah to visit Israel.
The 70th Independence Anniversary of Israel in Monrovia was attended by resident diplomats and scores of government officials, including Minister of State Nathaniel McGill and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Elias Shoniyin.
Speaking on behalf of the Government of Liberia, Minister Shoniyin recalled that relations between Israel and Liberia have yielded fruits for both countries as evidenced by Liberia’s role in the establishment of Israel and benefits including scholarships, security training and infrastructural and agricultural projects Israel has in return given to Liberia.
He called on the Israeli Government to reactivate all agreements made with Liberia since 1962.