Done Deal: Kuwait, Liberia Tie Solidified As President Sirleaf Opens New Liberian Embassy

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Monday, June 14, 2010 held talks with top Kuwaiti officials and also opened a new Liberian embassy in that country, heralding a new bilateral relations between the oil rich Asian country and Liberia.

A dispatch from Kuwait said the opening of the new Embassy of the Republic of Liberia near Kuwait City signaled the start of a “strengthened bilateral relationship” between the State of Kuwait and Liberia.

In remarks made at the opening ceremony, the President said she was pleased that the relationship had been “reactivated,” and that the two countries could now “begin to rebuild upon that historic and important relationship,” and together promote the development of Africa and strong partnership and relationship between the Arab States and the African continent.

The President expressed thanks and appreciation to the Government and people of Kuwait for the new diplomatic facilities that will enable Liberia to promote its partnership with Kuwait.

The signing, the previous evening, of an Agreement establishing a Joint Commission and a Memorandum of Understanding for Bilateral Consultations aimed at promoting this partnership.

The President added: “Through those instruments, and with our Ambassador and his staff who will be working here, using these facilities, we hope to demonstrate to you the friendship that we feel so strongly and so dearly, deep in our hearts, for the cooperation which we have received from Kuwait over the many years of this relationship.”

Also making statements and offering toasts at the opening ceremony was Liberia’s Ambassador to Kuwait, H.E. Konah K. Blackett; and Hon. Khalid Al-Jarallah, Undersecretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait.

The President, her delegation and other guests then toured the spacious two-storey, fully furnished and equipped Chancery, which she described as “very comfortable premises.”

The Government of Kuwait agreed to provide diplomatic facilities for Liberia for five years, including the Chancery, the Ambassador’s Residence, three apartments, vehicles and more.

The President and her party next visited a new shopping complex, the 360 Mall, equipped with its own amusement park and what was described as the biggest indoor vertical garden containing 22,500 plants of some 100 species.

According to the dispatch, President Sirleaf has also held talks with Oil and Finance Ministers and the Kuwaiti Fund.

The President held talks with the Kuwaiti Oil Minister, Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah.

The discussion centered on Kuwait’s participation in Liberia’s deep-water oil and gas exploration and other strategic cooperation.

The Oil Minister offered to assist Liberia in its high-power generation cost through an oil credit arrangement.

Details of such credit and investment opportunities will be undertaken by a mission from the Kuwaiti Oil Ministry, to be worked out as soon as possible.

President Sirleaf said she hoped to encourage a Kuwaiti trade and investment mission to visit Liberia soon.

Also participating in the meeting were the Minister of Planning & Economic Affairs, Mr. Amara Konneh; and the Energy Advisor to the President, Mr. Christopher Neyor.

In her meeting with the Kuwaiti Finance Minister, Mr. Mustafa Al-Shamali, the President discussed Liberia’s indebtedness to the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, and how to resolve the matter of an outstanding $12 million loan for road construction.

The Minister stated that once the matter of the debt was resolved, Kuwait was prepared to assist Liberia with its priority projects. The President mentioned projects in Lofa and Margibi Counties that needed to be addressed immediately.

The President’s final meeting was with the Director General of the Kuwait Fund, Mr. Abdulwahab Ahmad Al-Bader, where the issue of Liberia’s indebtedness to the Fund was discussed in depth.

Should Liberia agree to reschedule that debt, Mr. Al-Bader said, the Fund was ready to push ahead with funding for new projects for Liberia.

On Monday evening, the Prime Minister, H.H. Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, hosted a dinner banquet in honor of the Liberian President.

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Author: D K Sengbeh

Danicius Kaihenneh Sengbeh (author of Sengbeh's Weblog) is a respected and renowned Liberian journalist, poet and writer with with journalism experience since 2001, of working both as a mainstream journalist and a communication/media consultant in Liberia. He is Secretary General of the Press Union of Liberia (elected Dec 2013). He was Assistant Secretary General of the Union Dec 2011 to Dec 2013. He is also Editor-In-Chief of The Informer Newspaper—one of Liberia’s credible dailies. Before joining the Informer, Danicius had served as reporter, chief reporter, sub-editor and News Editor at The Independent Newspaper between 2002 and 2006. Before then, he was reporter at the defunct Patriot Newspaper and Kiss FM 2001-2002. Danicius is a UN Media Fellow and Liberia’s first UN Medal Award-winning journalist for his contribution to journalism and for being the second Liberian journalist in 15 years to qualify for and successfully attended the United Nations’ Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalist Fellowship Program in New York and Geneva, Switzerland in 2012. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Mass Communication and Sociology from the University of Liberia and a Diploma in Journalism from the International School of Journalism. He holds several awards and recognitions both in and outside of journalism, and carries dozens of certificates in journalism and communication from studies in Ghana, China, United States and Switzerland, among others. He volunteers as Chair of the Information and Communication Committee of his local Bardnersville community. He can be quickly reached via (+231) 886586531/777586531/777464018/ dakasen1978@yahoo.com

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