After months of intensive bilateral discussions between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the South African Embassy, the Republic of South Africa has announced it has now brought in the necessary equipment to begin the issuance of South African visas at its Embassy near Monrovia.
The disclosure was made Friday, April 2, 2015 in the Conference Room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when the South African Envoy to Liberia, H.E. Masilo Esau Mabeta, paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan.
According to a Foreign Ministry press release, visa applications will be received and processed from Monday through Friday between 8:00 am to 12:00 p.m. weekly.
Making the disclosure at the Foreign Ministry Friday Ambassador Mabeta said his embassy is aware of the inconveniences faced by many Liberians who had been constrained to travel to neighboring states in order to travel to South Africa.
The South African Ambassador regretted the difficulty that had been faced by Liberians as a consequence of the inability of the South African Embassy to issue visas in Monrovia, which he attributed largely to technical challenges faced by the South African Embassy.
For his part, Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan thanked the South African government for delivering on its promise by accepting Liberia's request to commence the issuance of South African visas in Liberia, adding that the move will bring to an end the difficulties faced by Liberians wishing to travel to South Africa.
Minister Ngafuan then on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Government and People of Liberia expressed to President Jacob Zuma and the people of South Africa sincere gratitude and thanks for establishing a visa outlet in Monrovia. The Liberian Foreign Minister also hoped that the diplomatic relations between Liberia and South Africa will continue to grow from strength to strength in all areas of cooperation.
Minister Ngafuan encouraged EU member states and other diplomatic missions resident in Monrovia to follow the lead of South Africa and bring to an end the enormous inconvenience and difficulties faced by Liberians who must travel to a second country just to obtain visa before travelling to their final destinations. This, the Foreign Minister noted is putting serious financial burden on the Liberian people.
Accordingly, the Foreign Minister disclosed that the Government of Liberia is working with all of its bilateral partners with resident missions in Liberia, especially countries from the European Union to consider the establishment of visa issuance outlets in Monrovia. "These conversations are in advanced stages and we hope that a breakthrough can be made soon", Minister Ngafuan remarked, according to the press release.