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Liberia announces plans to open embassy in Israel

July 6, 2023 at 2:22 pm

Liberia President Georges Weah (R) and his wife Clar Weah arrive for the Paris [LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images]

The President of the Republic of Liberia, George Weah, announced on Tuesday of his plans to open an embassy in Israel during a meeting in Jerusalem, reported The Times of Israel.

In response, Israeli President, Isaac Herzog, claimed the move signifies President Weah’s love for Israel and deep admiration for the Jewish people. He added that Israel takes its relations with Liberia very seriously as it was the first African nation to have established diplomatic relations with the state.

“We are anxious to foster our diplomatic ties with the opening of an embassy here in Israel,” said Herzog. He emphasised that Liberia opening an embassy in Israel would result in a great increase of opportunities for cooperation.

He said, “With the opening of an embassy, Israel can do a lot with Liberia in many areas of cooperation such as agriculture, health, defence and tourism.”

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Moreover, he offered to play the role as an advocate for the agenda of Liberia, disclosing that he will be addressing the joint session of the US Congress and would be willing to highlight Liberia’s case.

“I know of the great relations our three countries share,” he said, regarding Liberia, Israel and the United States.

Weah arrived in Jerusalem on Monday with a large ministerial delegation, including his wife. According to The Jerusalem Post, the President visited the Western Wall, where he prayed for success, peace for his people and protection for his family.

Additionally, Israeli Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen, welcomed the announcement, declaring Liberia as “one of Israel’s biggest friends in Africa”. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, also thanked Weah “for Liberia’s strong diplomatic support”.

It comes after Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, hosted Weah and his wife in 2019, during which Netanyahu announced, “Israel is returning to Africa in a big way. Africa is coming to Israel and so is the entire world. We are turning Israel into a rising global power.”

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The announcement also comes after classified official documents were revealed by Haaretz earlier this year that Israel systematically bribed top Liberian officials of the murderous dictatorship in order to get their support.

The official documents, issued by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, state that a Liberian envoy to the United Nations in the 1970s received regular payments – $500 in cash and $500 as gifts.

Haaretz noted that Israel recognised the importance of maintaining its relations with the Liberian regime, which was the first to recognise Israel in Africa.