President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has lauded the historic ties subsisting between Liberia and Ethiopia amid the tremendous contributions both nations have made together in promoting the Pan-African spirit through the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in the early 1960s.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the commendation when Gifti Abasiya, Ambassador-Designate, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia accredited to Liberia with residence in Accra, Ghana presented her Letters of Credence to the Liberian leader on Tuesday, March 29 in Monrovia.
She said Liberia and Ethiopia share unique historical similarities of not being colonized by any colonial power and recounted the close relationship between the late President William V.S. Tubman of Liberia and Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia who worked tirelessly towards the formation of the then O.A.U. to forge a common African solidarity and brotherhood.
President Sirleaf further recalled the historic visit of Emperor Selassie to Liberia in the early 1960s, which took them to Northern Sanniquellie, Nimba County along with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Armed Sekou Toure of Guinea.
Earlier, in July 1959, the first meeting was held in the Central Province, now Nimba County, and attended by Presidents Kwame Nkrumah, Armed Sekou Toure and host William V.S. Tubman to chart a course for the formation of a continental body.
She praised the people of Ethiopia, recognizing their resilience having emerged out of the tentacles of severe famine cum conflict in the early 1980s to a country of transformation and unprecedented development.
She described Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn’s predecessor Meles Zenawi as a visionary leader and said she has no doubt that PM Dessalegn would continue in the path of such lofty legacy.
She stressed the need to rekindle previous Joint Cooperation Agreements in the interest of both countries and their peoples by giving meaning to their relevance.
Earlier, Ambassador-Designate, Gifti Abasiya, thanked President Sirleaf for the audience and noted that there was a compelling need to accelerate the pace of closer cooperation that will bring benefits to the two countries.
Abasiya acknowledged progress made under the leadership of President Sirleaf, which has largely brought hope to her country and people.
She then conveyed a special message of warmth and best wishes from Prime
Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn to his Liberian counterpart.
She said Ethiopia was prepared to work along with Liberia, particularly at the level of the African Union (AU) to promote and advance the mutual interest and aspirations of the two nations and aspirations.
She expressed the hope that the relationship will continue to be nurtured in the coming years, the release concluded.