- Both Countries to Open Embassies
The Liberian government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with its Turkish counterpart aimed at strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries. The signing ceremony took place last week in Ankara, the capital of the Asian nation, with Liberia represented by a high-profile delegation headed by Foreign Minister Dee Maxwell Kemayan.
The Liberian team was in Turkey for a five-day official state visit which began on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. They held discussions with various Turkish stakeholders, including officials from the country’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Industry and Technology, Defense, and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency.
The delegation included Defense Minister Daniel Ziankhan, Commerce Minister Mawine Diggs, Maritime Commissioner Eugene Lenn Nagbe, the Minister of State Without Portfolio Trokon Kpui, Police Director Patrick Sudue, and the Director of The Executive Protective Service, Trokon Roberts.
Their visit comes on the heels of the Atalya Diplomacy Forum which was held in Antalya, Turkey in March and attended by President George M. Weah. The Liberian leader at the time met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and discussed issues bordering on peace and security and the consolidation of diplomatic relations.
The Liberian delegation’s visit last week was intended to follow up on conversations between the two leaders. Their discussions also centered around bolstering ties in the areas of infrastructure development, as well as the promotion of trade and international cooperation.
Both governments have also agreed to open an embassy for their counterpart in their respective countries in order to further strengthen diplomatic cooperation. The Liberian Foreign Minister hailed the new dynamism in relations, noting that although the Liberia-Turkish connection was relatively new, it is “promising”.
In 1992, Turkey opened its doors to Liberian students, and to date, ninety-six (96) University Scholarships for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees have been granted to Liberians from various backgrounds.
Turkey has also initiated plans to provide 100, 000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Liberia. The consignment is expected to be delivered later this year through the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
Minister Kamayan said Liberia will engage the Turkish government in the framework of mutual cooperation and the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, which he said is aimed at improving the livelihood of poor people and supporting the national economy, while also creating an enabling environment for the empowerment of young people.
The bilateral trade volume between Liberia and Turkey continues to grow, despite in brief lull in 2018. In the last two years, trade has surged to over three hundred million dollars.
Reported by: Stephen G. Fellajuah