President George Manneh Weah, with barely 24 hours after his historic election started the business of government when he received in audience a number of foreign leaders including Ghanaian President, Nana Ado Dankwa Akufo-Addo, U.S. Ambassador Christine Elder, Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Yue, and the Special Envoy of Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. The Liberian leader also received congratulatory messages from a Delegation from the European Union (EU), Israeli Ambassador Accredited to Liberia with residence in Ghana and the Indian Ambassador to Liberia based in Abidjan.
According to an Executive mansion release, the Liberian leader met separately with the foreign dignitaries, Heads of Missions on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at his Rehab Road residence in Paynesville outside Monrovia. The foreign dignitaries expressed delight over a successful inaugural program and took note of the huge presence of African leaders and other representatives that were present from other countries.
Speaking on behalf of the American delegation, Honorable Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., Under Secretary for Political Affairs, U.S. Department of State, extended best greetings on behalf of President Donald Trump and further congratulated President George Manneh Weah on his election as President of Liberia. He acknowledged the enormous challenges that lie ahead, but assured President Weah of The United States unflinching commitment to Liberia. Underscoring the importance of their visit to Liberia, the Head of the delegation, Thomas Shannon, Jr. intimated that even during the period of Government shutdown in the U.S., President Trump ensured that the trip to Liberia was fully realized.
The American delegation said they were grateful for the hospitality accorded them and asserted that they were very impressed with the Inaugural Ceremony. Mr. Shannon noted that they were struck by the joy of the Liberian people and by the huge presence of ordinary citizens, African leaders, and representatives of foreign missions from various countries present to witness the occasion. He also used the occasion to inform President Weah that they want to be a part of his success and asked that he keeps the line between Monrovia and Washington opened.
Under Secretary Thomas A. Shannon, Jr. concluded by saying they are committed to ensure President Weah visits Washington and promised to work with the State Department and White House to make it happen.
Commenting, President Weah thanked the U.S. delegation and acknowledged America’s continued support across the broad spectrum. He assured the Americans that Liberia will continue to remain constructively engaged with the white house.
On the same day, a High-powered Chinese delegation headed by the Health Minister of China Madame Li Dequan and the Chinese Ambassador to Liberia paid a courtesy visit on His Excellency George Manneh Weah.
The Chinese Envoy conveyed best felicitations on behalf of President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China and expressed how pleased they were with the success of the inaugural event. She further acknowledged the smooth working relationship that subsists between the People’s Republic of China and Liberia and stressed the need to continue on such path.
Madame Li Dequan asserted that they took note of the huge turnout at the inaugural occasion and how there were no empty seats left at the stadium. She said China believes that under the leadership of President George Manneh Weah, the Liberian people will prosper. The Chinese delegation promised increased support of 200 million Chinese Yuan to Liberia.
Responding, President Weah thanked the Chinese delegation for the visit and reaffirmed his commitment to the One-China policy.
Also paying courtesy call on the Liberian leader was Ghanaian President, H.E. Nana Ado Dankwa Akufo-Addo and delegation on his first day of work.
The Ghanaian leader expressed gratitude to the Government and people of Liberia for the warm hospitality accorded he and delegation while in Liberia. President Akufo-Addo informed President Weah that his visit was to fully congratulate him on his election as President of Liberia and to develop conversation on possible support his government can provide to Liberia.
In brief remarks, President Weah lauded the Ghanaian leader for the West African nation’s support continued to Liberia especially in difficult times. He promised to work will Ghana to foster the spirit of Pan-African ideas and ideals.
Similarly paying courtesy call on President Weah was Israeli Ambassador to Liberia, H.E. Ami Mehl. Ambassador Mehl congratulated President Weah on behalf of the Israeli Government and said they were very excited to see history being made. He expressed the hope that Liberia flourish again like in the past. Ambassador Mehl said he was asked by Prime Minister Netanyahu to invite President Weah for an official visit.
Responding, President Weah thanked the Government and People of Israel for standing by Liberia over the years and expressed the hope that the relationship would be further strengthened in the coming years.
For their part the Japanese delegation expressed gratitude for the meeting and said they were inspired by the conduct of the ceremony and huge attendance. The delegation then presented a special letter on behalf of the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. They expressed the need to further strengthen the bilateral relationship with Liberia and Japan. They noted that Japan will commence the construction of the second phase of the construction of Somalia Drive shortly as well provide assistance in vocational training to Liberia. The delegation also underscored the importance of the health and agriculture sectors and promised to contribute towards capacity building.
Meanwhile, President Weah also paid host to the EU delegation that congratulated him on his election and expressed the hope aimed at further strengthening closer relationship between Liberia and the European Union. The EU delegation was followed by the Indian Ambassador to Liberia with residence in Abidjan.