The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Foreign Minister Marjon V. Kamara, has presented an exequatur to Mr. Houssein Cheaitou to serve as Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Colombia to the Republic of Liberia.
Exequatur is an official recognition by a government of a consul, agent, or other representative of a foreign state, authorizing them to exercise the duties of office. This is the first of its kind for the Republic of Colombia to have a direct representative in Liberia.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, Acting Foreign Minister, Mr. B. Elias Shoniyin, presented the exequatur certificate to Honorary Consul General Cheaitou during a brief ceremony at the Foreign Ministry last Friday, June 16, 2017.
In his remarks, Acting Foreign Minister Shoniyin stated that he was glad that he was the one presenting the official recognition to Mr. Cheaitou. “I was lucky to be the one in office, to receive Ambassador Claudia Turbay Quintero, when she came to present her Letters of Credence to President Sirleaf; so here am I again in office to present to you this exequatur,” he told Mr. Cheaitou.
Madam Claudia Turbay Quintero is Colombia’s Ambassador to Liberia.
Mr. Shoniyin further stated that during a previous meeting, he had suggested to Ambassador Quintero that for Colombia to have a stronger presence in Liberia, it was expedient that the Government of Colombia considered having a direct representation in Liberia since the embassy is not based in Liberia but Accra, Ghana.
“Your presence here today is the result of the discussion that day when she came to present her Letters of Credence to President Sirleaf,” he told Mr. Cheaitou, who is also the general manager of the Cheaitou Brothers Inc., a local wholesale and retail dealer in frozen meat and fish on the Liberian market for many years.
Responding, Mr. Cheaitou thanked Acting Minister Shoniyin for the warm welcome and disclosed to Foreign Ministry officials present that he is a “son of the soil.”
“I was born and grew up in Liberia. I went to school here. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree from Don Bosco few years ago before I travelled to Lebanon to obtain my Master’s degree,” the Colombian Honorary Consul General disclosed.
He promised to further improve on the already cordial relationship between Liberia and Colombia in areas of tourism, security, world peace, education, among other sectors.
Mr. Cheaitou was accompanied by Lebanese businessman and former president of the
World Lebanese Cultural Union, Mr. Tony Hage.
In brief remarks, Mr. Hage assured Mr. Shoniyin that Honorary Consul Cheaitou would do all to promote and make better the relations between Liberia and Colombia as he is a “son of the soil.”
Acting Foreign Minister Shoniyin was joined in the meeting by the Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Rev. Jervis Witherspoon and Assistant Minister for American Affairs, Mr. Sie-Taba Neufville.