Monrovia, Liberia – The projects led by the outgoing minister of foreign affairs, D. Maxwell Saah Kemayan, and his staff at the Foreign Ministry have received acclaim from President George Manneh Weah. President Weah described the efforts as evidence of genuine nationalism and patriotism during his speech on Wednesday, January 17, 2024. He was referring to the Revised July 2023 Passport Regulation and the 4th Edition of the Foreign Service opening and dedication ceremony of the newly renovated Foreign Ministry.
“It is encouraging to note that the project we are dedicating here today was entirely the idea of the minister of foreign affairs, dean of the cabinet, and his team and came about at no cost to the government of Liberia, but the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Morocco.”
President Weah added that Minister Kemayan’s effort is consistent with John Kennedy’s famous phrase, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
Mr. Weah at the same time approved and launched the Fourth Edition of the Foreign Ministry Revised Documents and the July 2023 Passport Regulations.
Additionally, the departing Foreign Minister, D. Maxwell, praised President Weah for giving him the chance to lead the foreign ministry. He added that he is proud to be leaving the Foreign Ministry without any regret because he did major work at the ministry through the reforms and renovation of the building through foreign aid.
Minister Kemayah said Liberia is the only country that Liberian diplomats pay for diplomatic passports, but in the revised passport regulations, diplomats will not pay for such documents as it is in line with best international diplomatic practices. He added that the Liberian passport now has a six-year validity instead of a five-year.
“Diplomatic passports are not supposed to be purchased when one is appointed as a minister or diplomat in the field. One of the rare countries where diplomatic passports are purchased is Liberia. Although you are required to return the passport upon fulfilling your tenure and being recalled, you actually become the owner of the document after you have paid for it. We have made changes to the regulations to move it from an individual to an institutional level. All of our passports, including diplomatic passports, are now valid for six years under the reform laws.”
Christine Umutoni, the UN Resident Coordinator, praised Minister Kemayan for his cooperation both at the UN and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noting that the refurbishment of the Foreign Ministry and the many reforms are evidence of his commitment to national development.
Reported by: Jenneh Borbor