President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has stated that the diplomatic bonds that bind Liberia and the state of Israel have been strong since the formation of the Middle-eastern nation, most especially in 1954 when actual diplomatic exchanges began.
President Sirleaf indicated that the bonds have been cemented with visits of both President William V. S. Tubman and the then Prime Minister Moshe Sharett of Israel during the Tubman era coupled with the construction of the Executive Mansion, humanitarian assistance, support to Liberia at the level of the United Nations and Israeli investment in Liberia.
The Liberian leader made these assertions when she received the Letters of Credence from Israeli new Ambassador to Liberia, Sharon Barli.
Speaking during the presentation ceremony at her Office on Wednesday April 30,the President emphasized how much Liberia values the long, historic relationship with the State of Israel.
President Sirleaf said the relations between the two countries have transcended ordinary friendship since 1948 when that nation was established under the auspice of the United Nations.
She spoke of her fond experiences she had when she visited the State of Israel back in 2007, which she said was very fruitful.
In 1954 both countries formalized diplomatic relations that led to the historic visit of Israel’s founding mother and then Foreign Minister, Honorable Golda Meir, to Liberia, during which she was crowned as a Queen Mother by the Gola tribe.
Again in 1962, the second President of the State of Israel, His Excellency Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, paid an official visit to Liberia.
President Sirleaf expressed deepest appreciation for the strong support of Israel to Liberia and hoped Ambassador Barli will ensure the strengthening and consolidation of ties during her tenure.
“I stand ready to work with you to raise and resolve all outstanding bilateral issues,” the Liberian leader said.
While there are enormous challenges, the President went on to say, her government has made considerable progress, thanks to the support of partners such as the State of Israel. She made mention of the launch of a national framework, Vision 2030.It is a framework that is to see Liberia becomes a middle-income country in 2030.
She also mentioned the government’s Agenda for Transformation – a five-year program aimed at supporting nearly all the pillars of Vision 2030.
The new Israeli diplomat, Sharon Barli, in a remark praised the relations between both countries, which she said are long-standing and excellent.
“Our relations are based on friendship, mutual understanding and common views on many international issues.”
“Development cooperation will continue to form an important part in the relations between State of Israel and Liberia,” Ambassador Barli noted.
She expressed her excitement to be in Liberia as a female diplomat and conveyed warm greetings from the President and Prime Minister of Israel from Jerusalem.
Ambassador Sharon Barli thanked President Sirleaf for accepting her Letters of Credence and pointed out that Israel has a strong attachment to Liberia.
Beyond bilateral development cooperation, Ambassador Barli said the relations between Liberia and Israel have widened and deepened and are now in a process of dynamic development, extending to many sectors of both societies.
She said Israel was ready to provide technical assistance to Liberia in sectors such as agriculture, education, health, security, and is also committed to human development and capacity building intervention in Liberia.
Though she won’t be residing in Liberia, but the Israel diplomat committed herself to making regular and constant visits to Liberia as Israel’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. She is based in Accra, Ghana, a nation in addition to Liberia that her jurisdictions cover.