London, Great Britain - Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary accredited to the Court of Saint James, Ambassador Dr. S. Mohammed Sheriff, has recounted the historically productive ties that have and continues to define the relationship subsisting between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the Republic of Liberia; promising to explore new possibilities while deepening understanding and collaboration that will ensure mutually beneficial outcomes for the peoples’ of both nations.
Speaking when he presented his credentials to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the II, at the ceremony held in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace, Dr. Sheriff conveyed warm sentiments to the Queen and People of Great Britain on behalf of Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic Liberia.
Ambassador Sheriff applauded the stewardship of her Majesty the Queen in directing the vision of the United Kingdom as she consolidates global peace and strengthens democratic governance worldwide, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
He asserted that Liberia continues to witness rapid transformation under the dynamic stewardship of Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; stressing that the recent dedication of the Mount Coffee Hydro and the Country’s extensive road and infrastructural development, represent a significant partnership between the Liberian government and the international community.
Dr. Sheriff furthered that the case for British Government commitment to Liberia Road reconstruction Pool Fund- was also detailed in a presentation to the British Minister for Africa during the recent visit to the United Kingdom, of Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Speaking at the reception held later at the Embassy of Liberia, Ambassador Sheriff extolled his colleague and Predecessor Rudolf von Ballmoos with whom he had a personal friendship with since their youthful days in Monrovia and within the Foreign Service, and shared found memories. He hailed the widow of the fallen Liberian diplomat- Mrs. Angie von Ballmoos who joined the celebrants at the event held in at the Liberian London Mission recently..
Dr. Sheriff indicated that he will be guided by Liberia’s Development Diplomacy paradigm, seeking to increase the stake of British investment in Liberia- highlighting support for Liberia’s health, Agriculture and education reforms; assuring this will guarantee a skilled and vibrant workforce to drive Liberia’s development.
Liberia, Dr Sheriff insisted, is heralded as a pluralistic environment upholding civil liberties including freedom of speech and the press, and thriving political space.
The Vision 2030, forward looking national agenda, crystallizes a long term National Development road map that explains the direction of the Liberian State, as they were expressed nationwide; effectively addressing the ad-hoc approach that has saddled national development.
Making remarks at the ceremony, Her Majesty’s Marshall of the Diplomatic Corp, Alistair Harrison praised the strong will of the Liberian people towards ensuring a better future free of the vestiges the past.
He noted that the Government of the United Kingdom remains a reliable partner with the people of Liberia across varying sectors building the blocks of a productive and peaceful society anchored on the rule of Liberia and democratic governance.
He also paid tribute to former Liberian Rudolf von Ballmoos for his services to the country.
He recommitted Her Majesty Government’s support to the new Liberian Top Diplomat to the United kingdom; as both Liberia and UK forge deeper collaboration .
Mr. Harrison, a former United Nations official said Liberia has moved rapidly beyond the stark realities that hunted it more that 15 years ago; hailing the foresight of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for leveraging her years of experience with the United Nations other international bodies- to chart a productive course for Liberia and its people.
Sustained Engagement with Liberian Organizations
Ambassador Sheriff, a distinguished public servant last represented Liberia in Rome, Italy, intimated that the London Mission will remain engaged with the Liberian communities and the Diaspora.
The Liberian Diaspora constitutes a crucial component of the economic development of Liberia.
Liberians in the Diaspora, he said, are Ambassadors of Liberia and therefore they should be circumspect of all that they do because such can have an impact on the image of Liberia (either in a positive manner or a negative way). National development must therefore be their common purpose.
He admonished them to reconcile irrespective of their common ethnic differences and be peace loving.
The Missions will ensure its core responsibilities seeking as we “collectively seek Liberia’s interests away from home” Ambassador Sheriff Emphasized.
Liberia’s future will be secured by the steadfastness, dedication and commitment of all Liberians. This is the underlying theme at heart of the thoughts we have been privileged to roll-out to the well-coordinated and communities of Liberians groupings in the United Kingdom.
Deepening South-South Triangular Cooperation
While relations with Liberia’s neighbors remains at an all-time high- in peace and stability, thanks to an all-embracing and effective foreign policy agenda being spear headed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, along with her counterparts in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire.
Ambassador Sheriff upon arrival at post, immediately paid a courtesy call on the Dean of Ambassadors, other colleagues and with particular attention of the Mano River Union, ECOWAS and then the African Union countries to consolidate the spirit of regional, sub regional and continental cohesion sharing notes on common purpose for Africa’s common position on bilateral and multilateral global issues.
He highlighted the south-south triangular collaboration as an effective way to enhance the transformative economic development of President Sirleaf.
Ambassador Sheriff assured his colleagues of the MRU of his commitment in promoting the spirit of regional collaboration already been cemented at the Highest Level of the Heads of States of the MRU. Such sustained collaboration is indeed crucial for synergy and productive engagement for peace and security in the sub-region.
The Excellences commended President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s as a mother and key embodiment of the stability of the sub-region.
They applauded the heads of state of the sub-region for the pace of the ongoing infrastructural development in the sub-region to ease road transport between Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea- a catalyst to strengthening commerce and trade- an ideal principle of the MRU.
In light of the Spirit of Pan Africanism, Ambassador Dr. Sheriff also extended his courtesy calls onto other diplomats from the Continent as well as other nations stressing the need to promote Liberia’s transformative agenda as well as to strengthen the existing bilateral and multilateral agreements for economic recovery and development.
Ambassador Sheriff affirmed the strategic nature of the ties their countries continue to share and the need to consolidate their positions on matters pertaining to their respective countries and the African Continent.