The Liberian Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called on the Government of Turkey to open new air routes to Liberia as per the Agreement, which was signed between the two nations in May, 2013.
The Assistant Minister for International Cooperation and Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dehpue Y. Zuo, said the air services of Turkey to Liberia will not only help to boost the economy of the country but alleviate the health crisis amidst the decline of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) which has claimed the lives of well over 2,000 Liberians.
The Assistant Minister made the assertion last Wednesday when the People and Government of Turkey through the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), donated 156 boxes of medical and hygiene supplies to the fight against the Ebola, valued about US$60,000.
Assistant Minister Zuo, in a brief comment, urged Turkey’s Consul General in Liberia, Mr. Lusinee F. Kamara, Sr., to convey the government’s message to the people and government of Turkey.
“First, we just want say that the Liberian people are happy to have Turkey to identify with us at a time like this. We also want to remind Turkey that in May-2013, we signed some agreements. One of these we want to be implemented is the air services,” Mr. Zuo said. “On behalf of Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, we believe that in times like these more flights are needed in the country.”
Assistant Minister Zuo’s appeal stemmed from the issue of “empty promises of some Airways,” which promised to resume flights in Liberia after suspending flights to Ebola-hit West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Kenya Airways, British Airways, ASKY Airlines, Arik Air of Nigeria and Emirates Airlines suspended flights to Liberia, although some of those airlines later reversed their decisions.
“If the people and government of Turkey can open air routes [to] Liberia, it would be a big accomplishment and maybe all other flights would resume operations in Liberia,” Assistant Minister Zuo said.
It may be recalled that according a dispatch from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan at the head of a six-man Liberian delegation, concluded a weeklong visit to Turkey with the donation of twenty (20) buses to the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) by the City of Istanbul, Turkey.
Of the 20 buses, four will be given to the Liberia National Police (LNP) while one goes to the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC). A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) making the donation a reality was signed on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at a colorful ceremony held in Istanbul, Turkey.
Additionally, the Turkish government has donated two ambulances to the Health Ministry and most recently 150 boxes of medical and hygiene supplies.