Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan
Liberia, Qatar Sign Four Bilateral Agreements
MONROVIA, May 22 (LINA) - The Governments of the State of Qatar and Liberia have signed four bilateral agreements aimed at further strengthening, expanding, and consolidating the already strong ties of friendship and cooperation between their two countries and peoples.
According to a dispatch from Doha, the Agreements include an Air Services Agreement, which seeks to assist infrastructural improvement at the Roberts International Airport and ensure flights by Qatar Airways to Liberia and a Regulation of Manpower Employment in the State of Qatar Agreement to enable Liberian workers to benefit from employment opportunities in Qatar.
Others are an Agreement for the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investment aimed at boosting private sector investment and exchange activities in Liberia and Qatar which obligates the State parties to create favorable conduction for investors and investment in its territory in accordance with the laws and regulations in force.
Also signed are an Agreement on Economic, Commercial and Technical Cooperation which seeks to strengthen commercial, economic and technical cooperation between the governments, business sector and Chambers of Commerce of the two countries to enhance and promote trade and economic activities.
Under the Air Services Agreement, Qatar Airways will enter into an arrangement with the Government of Liberia to assist the Civil Aviation Sector of Liberia and ensure that the airline which is considered one of the world’s five-star airlines begin flights to Monrovia soon.
The two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding in this regard, which takes immediate effect.
Liberia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, and the Director-General of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority Richelieu Williams signed on behalf of the Government of Liberia.
On Wednesday, May 21, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and delegation held bilateral talks with the Qatari Government delegation led by the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani at the Kingdom’s Palace in Doha, Qatar.
The Liberian leader and delegation arrived in Doha Tuesday, May 20, for a three-day State Visit to that Western Asian nation at the invitation of the Emir.
During talks at their bilateral meeting, both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen, deepen, expand and consolidate the already strong ties of friendship and cooperation between the two governments and peoples.
The discussions focused on wide-range of issues of mutual interest and international matters of common concern.
They called for diplomatic solutions to crisis that threaten world peace and stability.
The leaders emphasized the need to safeguard and uphold the United Nations principles of respect for national sovereignty and integrity and also talked about the crisis in the Middle East, South Sudan, Mali, Nigeria, among others.
Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani vowed to personally take steps aimed at strengthening the relationship between the two countries and expressed Qatar’s strong interest to invest in various sectors of Liberia, especially mining and food security.
Qatar will also contribute to the successful implementation of Liberia’s Agenda for Transformation, with assistance for infrastructure, human capacity development, healthcare delivery, agriculture and food security, among others.
President Sirleaf appealed to the Emir of Qatar to consider investing in the aviation sector, particularly airline services and the terminal of the Roberts International Airport, the country’s main international airport.
Both governments agreed to expand cooperation beyond traditional sectors into areas presenting new opportunities, including the oil and gas sector in environmentally sustainable ways that would economically benefit the two countries and peoples.
Earlier, President Sirleaf toured Education City in Doha and held extensive discussions with the co-founder and chairperson of the Qatar Foundation (QF), Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, who expressed interest in supporting Liberia’s education system.
A special delegation of Her Highness is expected to visit Liberia in a week’s time for an assessment and follow-up activities.
The Liberian leader also held several meetings with various groups and individuals during the State Visit, including the Energy Minister of Qatar, African Ambassadors accredited near Doha, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Islamic Bank, Chairman of the RAF Foundation, and authorities of the Qatar Investment Authority.
Others the Liberian leader met with included authorities of Qatar Minings, National Bank of Qatar, Red Crescent Society of Qatar, Qatar Charity Society, Hassad Food, Bilai Trading, Katara Cultural Village, an array of Qatari investors, including the richest businessman and a member of the Royal Family in Doha, His Excellency Sheikh Faisal Bin Qasim Al Thani, founder of Al Faisal Company, founder and chairman of the Al Faisal without Border Foundation, chairman of its board since 1964 and Trustees of the University of Qatar.
The meetings, which were requested by the different institutions, businesses and individuals were aimed at exploring opportunities to assist Liberia in its reconstruction drive, invest in the private sector and provide charitable and humanitarian support to the people of Liberia.
The Liberian President also met members of the Liberian community in Qatar who briefed her about their activities in Qatar and the desire of some to return home and contribute to the country’s rebuilding efforts.
Members of the President Sirleaf’s delegation to Qatar were the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augustine Ngafuan; Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sylvester Grigsby; Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Gyude Moore; the Director-General of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority, Richelieu Williams; Montserrado County District No. 1 Representative, Josephine Francis; and Assistant Minister for Afro/Asian Affairs, Ardia Kaikai; among others.
The Liberian leader and delegation returned home on Thursday, May 22, following successful visits to the United States of America and the State of Qatar respectively.