President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has received the Letters of Credence of Israel’s new Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Sharon Barli.
Speaking during the presentation ceremony Wednesday, the Liberian leader said she was pleased to receive the letters of credence of the new Israeli Ambassador, emphasizing how much Liberia values the long, historic relationship with the State of Israel.
President Sirleaf recounted that the relations between the two countries have transcended ordinary friendship since 1948.
“Our bonds have been strong with visits of both President Tubman and the then Prime Minister 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,” she stated.
According to an Executive Mansion press release, she also recalled her own visit to the State of Israel in 2007 with positive outcomes and exchanges.
In 1954 both countries formalized diplomatic relations which led to the historic visit of Israel’s founding mother and then Foreign Minister, 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, 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, and she cited the launch of a national framework, Vision 2030, which will see Liberia become a middle-income country by then.
She also mentioned the government’s Agenda for Transformation, a five-year program aimed at supporting nearly all the pillars of Vision 2030.
Earlier, Ambassador Barli 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,” she said.
She stressed that development cooperation will continue to form an important part in the relations between the State of Israel and Liberia.
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.
She also 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.
Ambassador Barli is based in Accra with an assignment that covers the two countries — Liberia and Ghana.
She committed herself to making regular and constant visits to Liberia as Israel’s Ambassador to the West African Republic.