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India, Liberia heighten friendly relations

By Winston W. Parley

Indian Ambassador to Liberia Mr. Pradip Kumar Yadav says his country’s decision to upgrade its bilateral relations with friendly Liberia has led to the opening of a resident Mission in Liberia which he heads as its first resident Ambassador.

Delivering a speech Wednesday night, 26 January 2022 at the Mamba Point Hotel in Monrovia in observance of Republic Day of India, Amb. Yadav said India and Liberia have enjoyed warm and friendly relations for the last many decades.  

“India has always strived to have good friendly relations with all other countries including its neighbors.  India’s decision to upgrade our bilateral relations with friendly Liberia led to the opening of a resident Mission in Liberia headed by the first resident Ambassador,” said Amb. Yadav. 

The ceremony on Wednesday night marked the first-ever National Day of the Republic Day of India being hosted by the newly opened Embassy of India, to the Republic of Liberia.

Members of the Indian diplomatic and business communities including India’s immediate past Honorary Consul General to Liberia and Philanthropist Mr. Upjit Singh Sachedeva, Liberian officials and other special guests graced the Republic Day of India celebration in Monrovia. There were Indian cultural performances at the event.

Amb. Yadav explained that both countries share common views on the important issues affecting the world, be it human rights, women empowerment, international peace, solar energy, environmental protection and above all democracy.  

He thanked the friendly Liberian government for providing an encouraging and conducive business environment to the Indian community here.  

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“I am pleased to announce that the vibrant, law-abiding Indian community has also been contributing its fair share in the growing Liberian economy,” said Amb. Yadav.   

Additionally, he said India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji has two important goals close to his heart – ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padao,’ an Indian statement he has interpreted as ‘Save the Daughter, Teach the Daughter.’ 

Similarly, Amb. Yadav said, Liberian President George Manneh Weah  is a crusader of gender equality and is widely acknowledged as the ‘Feminist in Chief.’   

He said the second goal is ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas’ which translates in English as ‘Everyone Together for Everyone’s development, with everyone’s confidence and everyone’s efforts.’   

In Liberia, Amb. Yadav noted, President Weah has also been striving for the success of the ‘Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development’. He said India has faith in the wise statesmanship of President Weah to achieve these goals.  

The Indian diplomat indicated that from time to time, India has been contributing towards the development of friendly Liberia by way of supply of passenger buses, fire trucks, agricultural assistance, capacity building programs, and cash contribution for the 14th Military hospital, among others.

During the difficult times of Ebola in 2014-15, Amb. Yadav recalled, the Government of India stood by its friend Liberia and extended bilateral cash assistance and US$ 10 million to the UN Fund for Ebola-affected countries including Liberia. 

“India also actively participated in the peacekeeping efforts of the United Nations Mission in Liberia from 2007 to 2016 and deployed an Indian Army contingent,” he added.  

He said the first-ever all-women contingent in the history of UN peacekeeping was the Female Formed Police Unit of the Central Reserve Police Force of India, deployed in friendly Liberia.  

The female contingent not only generated enormous goodwill for India during its long deployment but has also been a source of inspiration for the Liberian people, especially women.

“Under the dynamic and inspiring leadership of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi Ji, Amb. Yadav noted that India has been striving to improve its infrastructure, achieve all-round development and make India a manufacturing hub for the world as part of  ‘Make in India’, ‘Vocal for Local’, ‘Go for Swadeshi.’

Touching further on India’s medical contribution to the world, Amb. Yadav stated that his country has also emerged as the medicine and pharma hub of the world.  

During the Covid pandemic, he said India not only took care of its medical needs but also helped many friendly countries including Liberia with the export of medicines and Covid vaccination.  

“I take pride in announcing that recently India surpassed the gigantic figure of 1.6 billion Covid vaccination.  I hope and pray that very soon Covid fades away from our lives forever!” said Amb. Yadav.

Representing the Government of Liberia at the celebration of Republic Day of India, Madam Naomie M. Gray, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the people of Liberia continue to enjoy the warm friendship existing between Liberia and India.

“Our Government is appreciative [of] the numerous contributions made over the years by the Government and People of the Republic of India, to include the donation of buses which have helped tremendously in easing our transportation problems, technical assistance as well as [assisting] in developing our human resource capacity,” Minister Gray said.

She assured the Indian side of President Weah’s commitment to further enhancing cordial relations and historic bonds of friendship between the two countries.

“We wish to assure you of Liberia’s commitment to the longstanding relationship between our two countries and peoples,” said Minister Gray.

On behalf of the Government and People of Liberia, Madam Gray also thanked India for the donation of medical supplies in the fight against the deadly Covid – 19 pandemic.

Further, Ministry Gray informed Amb. Yadav that the Indian community in Liberia continues to stand by their host country in good and bad times.

“We note with gratitude its involvement in the economic development process of Liberia,” said Minister Gray.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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