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Liberia, Vietnam establish diplomatic relations

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The Governments of Liberia and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam have established diplomatic relations at the Ambassadorial level. According to a dispatch from Beijing, People’s Republic of China, the Joint Communiqué was signed at a formal ceremony held at the Government’s Guest House in Hanoi, last Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

Liberia’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Dudley McKinley Thomas signed the Communiqué on behalf of the Government of Liberia, while the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, Mr. Vu Hong Nam, signed on behalf of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Speaking at the ceremony, Vice Foreign Minister Vu stressed that Vietnam was very pleased to establish diplomatic relations with Liberia, Africa’s oldest independent republic, making it the 52nd African country with which Vietnam has established diplomatic relations and the 172nd worldwide.

He indicated that Vietnam current exports to Liberia has a yearly turn-over of US$100 million and therefore believed that the potential for the two countries to expand their bilateral cooperation was clearly evident.
Vice Foreign Minister Vu furthered that his country is prepared to provide assistance to Liberia in the field of agriculture, and specifically in the production of rice, since Vietnam is the second largest producer of rice in the world.

He highlighted the role that Liberia has played internationally, over the years, by providing leadership in many multilateral institutions as well as in international organizations, like the United Nations.  The Vice Minister assured that his Government fully cooperate and collaborate with Liberia in advancing the many current international priorities, made all the more urgent, by increased globalization and economic integration.

He praised the role played by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as one three co-chairs of the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Agenda.  Responding, Ambassador Thomas stated that the establishment of diplomatic relations between Liberia and Vietnam, even though an important event, should however be viewed as the renewal of an old friendship – a friendship which has existed for many years between the people of Vietnam and the people of Liberia.

He said the friendship also draws its strength from the strong bonds established by the many contributions of Vietnamese agriculturists, technicians and others that participated in the development of Liberia in previous years.

Ambassador Thomas fully agreed with Vice Foreign Minister Vu that the formalization of the relationship between the two countries as presenting new opportunities for increased cooperation in various fields. “We have followed with admiration the rapid economic development of Vietnam after facing many difficulties and believe that Liberia can learn from your experience,” the Liberian Ambassador to China said.

He happily noted that agreements for the provision of assistance in the field of agriculture between Vietnam and Liberia, especially ones that provide for enhancing Liberia’s rice production capabilities, would be wholeheartedly embraced by the Government and people of Liberia.

“Rice,” he pointed out, “is a major component of the Liberia’s diet and therefore, new Liberia-Vietnam relations, based on a platform of extensive agriculture cooperation, would indeed go a long way in promoting sustainable ‘economic development’ and win-win for both countries.”

Ambassador Thomas requested that the Vietnamese Vice Foreign Minister kindly convey to the President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, H.E. Mr. Tran Dai Quang the best wishes of the President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for the continuing success and prosperity of the Vietnamese people.

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