Monrovia — The Liberian government has signed a memorandum of understanding with its Turkish counterpart aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. The signing ceremony took place last week in Ankara, the Asian nation’s capital, with Liberia represented by a high-level delegation led by Foreign Minister Dee Maxwell Kemayah.
The Liberian team was in Turkey for a five-day official state visit which began on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. They held talks with various Turkish stakeholders, including officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Industry and Technology, Defense and Turkey. Cooperation and Coordination Agency.
The delegation included Minister of Defense Daniel Ziankhan, Minister of Commerce Mawine Diggs, Maritime Commissioner Eugene Lenn Nagbe, Minister of State without Portfolio Trokon Kpui, Director of Police Patrick Sudue and Director of the Executive Protective Service , Trokon Roberts.
Their visit follows the Atalya Diplomatic Forum held in Antalya, Turkey in March, which was attended by President George M. Weah. The then Liberian leader met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and discussed issues relating to peace and security and the consolidation of diplomatic relations.
The Liberian delegation’s visit last week was aimed at following up on conversations between the two leaders. Their discussions also focused on strengthening ties in the areas of infrastructure development, as well as promoting trade and international cooperation.
The two governments also agreed to open an embassy for their counterpart in their respective countries to further enhance diplomatic cooperation. The Liberian foreign minister hailed the new dynamism in relations, noting that although the Liberian-Turkish connection is relatively new, it is “promising”.
In 1992, Turkey opened its doors to Liberian students, and to date, ninety-six (96) bachelor’s and master’s degree scholarships have been awarded to Liberians from various backgrounds.
Turkey has also launched plans to provide 100,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Liberia. The shipment is expected to be delivered later this year through Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
Minister Kamayan said Liberia will engage the Turkish government within the framework of mutual cooperation and the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development; which he said aims to improve the livelihoods of the poor and support the national economy, while creating an enabling environment for youth empowerment.
Bilateral trade volume between Liberia and Turkey continues to grow, despite a brief lull in 2018. Over the past two years, trade has soared to over three hundred million dollars.