Israel Celebrates Independent Day in Liberia – Both Countries Uphold longstanding Ties

246

Ambassador Ami Mehl welcomes Deputy Foreign Minister Elias Shoniyin

the Israeli Foreign Minister Welcomes Jetty at the occasion

Minister of State in a toast with the foreign minister

The foreign Minister speaks at the occasion

Israel celebrated its 70th independence anniversary with massive flags at the home of the country’s president Reuven. Their flag was spread across the roof of the President’s house, covering an area of 1,500 square meters, in preparation for Independence Day celebrations, according to the spokesperson from the President’s house in Jerusalem.
The country appears to be celebrating how much the young state has developed. In a special operation of the IDF’s satellite unit 9900 in conjunction with repelling experts and textile designers, the Israeli flag was designed and its presentation was documented by an Israeli satellite, report say.
Prince Albert II of Monaco celebrated the Independence Day in a lavish event, ahead of his receiving of an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University planned for June 12.
The Liberian people too did not only watch the event from distance. In recognition of the strong ties between both countries, Liberia was a part of the celebration.
Liberia remembers vividly in 1983 slain president Samuel K. Doe became the first African head of state to visit since more than 30 black African countries broke relations with Israel between 1971 and 1974.

On that occasion, the former Liberian leader met with Prime Minister Menachem Begin and promised to work for the renewal of diplomatic relations between Israel and African countries after a decadelong rupture.
”We in Liberia shall do our best in persuading some of our friends, African countries, to reconsider their decision and to resume relations with the state of Israel,’’ president Doe said.
In return, Mr. Begins told Doe ”We are grateful for your courageous decision. ”We do hope that other African countries will follow in your footsteps,” Mr. Begin said. He added that he and General Doe discussed possible cooperation projects ”and we hope for concrete results.”
On the country’s 69th President Sirleaf, on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia, and in her own name, extended to Mr. Rivlin, and through him, to the Government and people of the State of Israel, warm felicitation and best wishes on the occasion of the 69th Independence Anniversary.
But this year saw uniqueness in the celebration the independent anniversary after 30 years when an array of government officials led by the acting president Nathaniel McGill.

Employees from the Temple of Justice were led by Associate Justice Kabeha Janet.

Members of the foreign mission were fully represented to share felicitation with Ambassador Ami Mehl

He and his charming wife stood at the entrance of one conference rooms of the Royal Grand Hotel to respectfully receive the guest.
“Welcome to the 70th anniversary reception of the state of Israel. My wife, Yael and I are very excited to be here in Liberian this evening and to celebrate, for the first time in the last 30 years , Israel’s independence Day” the Ambassador said with cheers from the audience.

Ambassador Ami Mehl recalled that the establishment of Liberia in 1847 symbolizes the legitimate rights of every human being to live in freedom, self-determination and peace.

He said this makes Liberia most unique and special. The sons of Israel he added aspired to achieve these goals during their long exile.

He said striving is well illustrated in psalm 137:1: “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion”.

He said his country has received its independence after the UN General Assembly decision that was on November 29, 1947 to end the British Mandate and to establish a Jewish state in the Land of Israel side by side to an Arab state.

Liberia, the ambassador said voted in favor of this partition plan and his country remembers and appreciates this.

“Anyhow, the Jews accepted the UN resolution and went out ot dance in the streets while the Arabs, known today as the Palestinians, opened a war against the Jewish people. As we all know, the was ended with an Israeli victory and the rest is history. 70 years ago, the Jewish hope of almost 2000 years were fulfilled, and the state of Israel was established,” the ambassador added.
The security challenges he said, forced the state of Israel to invest in research and development in security and defense and that it was also clear that the state of Israel had to ensure an independent food production for its citizens, in spite of the face, that about 50% of the land of Israel is a desert.
The ambassador told the gathering that significant resources were invested in developing the agriculture sector. In addition, advanced technologies in water treatment were developed such as, drip irrigation; recycling of sewage water, water purification and sea water desalination. Israel became a world class leader, in many fields. Especially noteworthy is its Cyber Technology.
“Today, the small state of Israel provides around 20% of the global Cyber defense systems. The state of Israel has managed to change within 70 years from a country the mainly focused on export of oranges to a country that exports technological innovations,” he added

But he said Israel has become a synonymous to quality as well and that Israeli businesses would be happy to share with Liberia the Israeli Technological abilities for the benefit of all Liberians.
The assure that Israeli government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu is determined to strengthen and cultivate Israel relations with Africa.

“One of the peaks of this decision, as you all know, was the ECOWAS summit that took place here in Liberia on 4th June 2017. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the guest of honor at that important Summit and declared on his speech that Israel is coming back to Africa, and Africa is coming back to Israel. Israel-Liberia relations are playing an important role in this trend due to the common goals and values that we share. The relations between Israel and Liberia are precious and important to Israel,” he added.

“Israel and Liberia have a long –term partnership and friendship that goes back to the 50s. Golda Meir, as Foreign Minister (1956-1966), established strong relationships with Liberia during her tour to Africa in 1958. She put a lot of efforts to promote the development and welfare of the people of Africa in general and Liberia in particular. The collaboration between Israel and Liberia continues to spring up in different fields such as economy, energy, agriculture, education, military, health and more. Israeli experts and professionals are being sent to Liberian and Liberians are invited to Israel to attend courses in various domains both theoretical and professional .That collaboration is continuing to grow throughout the years. Israel’s well-known Agency for International Development Cooperation, MASHAV, is having some ongoing projects dealing with aqua culture, emergency medicine and more to come. In the upcoming summer 10 Liberian will go to Israel for a one-year program of training in agriculture.”
Responding, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, B. Elias Shoniyin expressed greetings to Israel on the occasion of its 70th independent anniversary.

“It is my pressure on behalf of His Excellency President George Manneh Weah, the Government and people of the Republic of Liberia, and in my own name, to extend warm congratulations and sincere best wishes to you, Mr. Ambassador, and through you, to His Excellency President Reuven Rivlin, the Government and people of the state of Israel, on this auspicious occasion of the 70th independence Anniversary of your great country,” he said.
He recalled that Liberia and Israel had long standing historical ties which was amplified in 1948 when Liberia’s cast that decisive vote at the United Nations (UN) that granted Israel a modern statehood.
“While many people celebrate the grate success of Israel today, we in Liberia go a step further to also celebrate the gains made together the April 1959 protocol on treaty of friendship, the two countries have mutually benefited from collaboration in several fields, especially diplomacy, agriculture, health, culture, education, security, youth and sports, and infrastructural development. Many Liberian technicians and students are recipients of Israeli’s training opportunities,” He said.
The minister said the long history of bilateral cooperation between Liberia and Israel culminated into the signing of agreements and Memoranda of understanding in many fields of development; especially, in agriculture, health, education, security, sports and infrastructural development.
He told the Ambassador that since his accreditation to Liberia, relations between Liberia and Israel continue to strengthened, which fulfilled your promise made during your presentation of Credentials in 2016.

“ Your constant visits to Liberia often blunt the fact that you are a nonresident Ambassador. I must admit, we have lost count of your visits, thus making record as the most visiting nonresident Ambassador accredited to Liberia. Even more importantly, is the quality of your visits, You have led delegations in many fields including in diamond polishing , energy , agriculture , health,

Education, trade and investment, and many others. You have demonstrated a genuine love for Liberia and reestablished Israel as a reliable partner of Liberia. I wish to thanks you and your Government on behalf of the people of Liberia,” he added.
The historic celebrate of Israel’s 70th Independence Anniversary in Liberia after 30 years he said has no doubt reinvigorated the spirit of true partnership.

“I therefore wish to announce our Government’s preparedness to reactivate all existing agreements and protocols signed between our two countries, and to also reaffirm our commitment to our bilateral cooperation in the area of health, security, education, infrastructural development , and low-scale manufacturing.
While acknowledging the extend of the challenges faces by the people of Liberia, we have a mandate to pursue, and no doubt we will get there. Since his assumption of the mantle of leadership in Liberia, President Weah has spared not minute to rally the country behind his vision towards a future of Liberia is on the shoulder of every Liberian, with greater share of that responsibility on officials of Government. We will stretch to our limits, and work with reliable partners like Israel, to assists us in areas where we lack the capacity,” he added.”

The George Weah Administration will continue to deepen engagement with Israel, as we embarked on the formulation and implementation of a pro poor Agenda, which g broadly pro poor Agenda, which broadly prioritizes economic revitalization, agriculture development, security, the minister added. – A. Abbas Dulleh