Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Dudley McKinley Thomas was on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 commissioned as Liberia’s Ambassador accredited near Beijing with a commitment to further strengthening economic and political ties between Liberia and the People’s Republic of China.
Speaking at a well attended commissioning ceremony in the conference room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ambassador Thomas said the Peoples Republic of China has emerged on the global stage as an economic and political giant.
Ambassador Thomas praised China for engaging Africa, including Liberia, in its development drive through strong partnership and supporting African positions on global issues in various international fora. “My mission is to further strengthen the new foreign policy thrust of economic and development diplomacy during my tour of duty in China”, Ambassador Thomas remarked.
He then lauded China’s support in the achievements of Liberia’s developmental goals which are evident by wide spread Chinese establishments and initiatives in Liberia, particularly under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf whose personal diplomacy has successfully restored the country’s battered image. The Liberian diplomat noted that Liberia is once again regarded as a responsible member of the international community.
“Liberia’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China has been fruitful and rewarding…….which President Sirleaf attaches great importance to”, Ambassador Thomas added.
Ambassador Thomas expressed gratitude to President Sirleaf for the confidence reposed in his ability to undertake the challenging assignment of serving not only as her personal representative, but also as Ambassador of Liberia to the PRC, a country with approximately 1.4 billion people.
While acknowledging his long diplomatic service, Ambassador Thomas expressed his honor and deep humility to take on his new assignment, stating that whatever success he achieved during his over 16 years in the Foreign Service in Brussels, Belgium as Commercial Counselor and Ambassador can be attributed to the Almighty’s favor and gracious mercy which he said had provided him with wisdom during the challenging time of his career.
Speaking earlier Acting Foreign Minister Ambassador Sylvester M. Grigsby, who on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administered the oath of office as he acted on behalf of Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, paid special tribute to the honoree, describing him as one of Liberia’s seasoned credible and productive diplomats who represented Liberia’s interest at all levels, especially during his ten years’ assignment as Liberian Ambassador near Paris, France. .
“He served in Paris for about ten years very creditably and very productively; that as an ambassador when you have your Head-of-State visit your jurisdiction, it is a crowning moment and Ambassador Thomas had several crowning moments during his tenure in Paris and each time the President visited him, he proved more fruitful and more productive; so due to his excellent performances, it was not by chance that the President decided to transfer him to China as our ambassador in that great country”, Minister Grigsby remarked.
The Acting Foreign Minister then expressed his optimism over Ambassador Thomas’ skills that would lead to more fruitful dynamic relations with the People’s Republic of China.
“We know that while you were in Paris, you kept a very cordial relationship with your counterpart here in Monrovia, the French Ambassador and I understand that you already started to establish links with the Chinese Embassy here; so that bodes well for coordination and cooperation. So we do expect, I don’t think it is an empty expectation that this relation will become much more enriched by your presence in the mission”, Ambassador. Grigsby averred.
The ceremony was attended by high profiled Liberian Government Officials including Dr. Edward McClain, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Acting Chair of the Cabinet, the Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, His Excellency Zhang Yue, Amb. George W. Wallace, Sr., Adviser to the President on Foreign Affairs, Former Chief of Protocol Ambassador Eddie Dunn and Amb. Marcus Kofa, Senior Ambassador-At-Large, amongst others.