China Commits US$320k To New Diplomatic Lounge For RIA

The Government of China has committed US$320,000 to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to construct a new diplomatic lounge at the Roberts International Airport (RIA).

The commitment was made by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the end of a two-day official visit to Liberia to assess successes and challenges in the fight against the Ebola virus and how to explore means to resolve some of the challenges.

The disclosure was made by Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan at a joint press conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia on Sunday.

Minister Ngafuan said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will coordinate with the Chinese Embassy in Monrovia and the management of the RIA to implement the project.

Ngafuan, on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, lauded Wang for the visit and the grant, noting that this reaffirms China’s continuous commitment to the longstanding relationship between the two countries.

“China has proven to be a true friend to Liberia; she came to us when we were bedridden as a result of the Ebola crisis and helped us to get back on our feet, and they are now helping us  run faster to catch up during our post-Ebola recovery,” Ngafuan added.

He noted that Liberia’s post-conflict and development story would be incomplete without highlighting the tremendous contributions of China, and cited projects China has agreed to expedite as the US$60 million Ministerial Complex, the annex at the National Legislature and the Samuel K. Doe Complex, among others.

For his part, Wang lauded President Sirleaf and the people of Liberia for their resilience in the fight against the Ebola virus, noting that though Liberia was the hardest hit of the three sub-regional countries, it was the first to be declared Ebola free by the World Health Organization (WHO).

He pledged his government’s continuous support to Liberia’s development and post-Ebola recovery plan.

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