The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, has disclosed that his country has decided to open an embassy in Monrovia, a Foreign Ministry release has confirmed.
Mr. Çavuşoğlu noted that his historic visit to the country, the first ever visit by a Turkish Foreign Minister to Liberia, is a testament of his country’s desire to improve and deepen all aspects of its relationship with Liberia, which has a unique standing in the history and politics of Africa. Çavuşoğlu stressed that the relationship between both countries continues to develop progressively, and is appreciative that its growth potential is huge.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, the Turkish Foreign Minister made the disclosure when he addressed a press stakeout along with Liberia’s Foreign Minister Ms. Marjon V. Kamara in the foyer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.
Mr. Çavuşoğlu, at the head of a high-level delegation, paid a one-day visit to Liberia to enhance and further deepen the already growing bilateral relations subsisting between the two countries. He also held constructive bilateral discussions and reviewed several framework agreements.
The Turkish Foreign Minister highlighted economic, commercial, technical cooperation, mutual prevention and protection of investments and the prevention of double taxation as some of the issues covered during the discussions. “With my friend, Minister Kamara, we agreed upon the fact that the trading volume with Turkey does not reflect real economic potential,” he said, adding that both countries need to increase the bilateral trade volume as well as elevate cooperation at international fora.
He expressed his willingness to further strengthen the bilateral relations and used the opportunity to extend an invitation to Minister Kamara to visit Turkey any time soon.
Mr. Çavuşoğlu also promised to increase the number of scholarships for Liberian students to study in Turkey. “I underlined to Minister Kamara that we are ready to increase the number of scholarships that we grant for Liberian students, but the media need to promote it further so more Liberian students can come to study at very good universities in Turkey,” he said.
About relations with Africa, Çavuşoğlu said that it has been built on a long history of mutual cultural heritage. “We consider developing relations with Africa as a success story,” he said, noting that Turkey’s policy towards Africa is based on mutual benefits to all.
He then praised Liberia for making “remarkable progress” since recovering from a devastating civil war. “Liberia has become the producer of peace in this region,” he said.
He also expressed his government’s sympathy for the suffering Liberians experienced during the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in 2014.
Çavuşoğlu thanked Minister Kamara for the warm welcome she accorded him and his delegation and also expressed gratitude to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for making time to see him.
Minister Kamara earlier welcomed and thanked her Turkish counterpart for his historic visit to Liberia, noting that the visit afforded them the opportunity to exchange notes, take stock of where they are in their bilateral relations and explore avenues for the further strengthening the relations.
“Turkey and Liberia enjoy very strong relations. We are very appreciative of the support which Turkey has provided in the past and has shown willingness to continue to provide as part of its outreach policy towards Africa,” Foreign Minister Kamara said.
Kamara informed journalists that Mr. Çavuşoğlu also paid a courtesy call on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in which she was very encouraged by the offer from Turkey to strengthen bilateral relations in terms of having their presence here permanently as well as looking at the areas of education, agro-processing, digitizing the archives and many others. She stressed that the Foreign Ministry was pleased with the outcome of the discussions.
Following the press stakeout, Mr. Çavuşoğlu and entourage met with Vice President Joseph N. Boakai before departing the country for Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Before coming to Liberia, he visited Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, where he attended the 44th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.