Photo credit: DiasporaEngager (www.DiasporaEngager.com).

By Winston W. Parley

Indian Ambassador to Liberia Mr. Pradip Kumar Yadav has hailed the further strengthening of the already existing ‘very good bilateral relations with Liberia.

During the celebration of India’s 75th Anniversary of Independence held at the Monrovia City Hall Monday, 15 August 2022, Mr. Yadav announced India’s full commitment to the capacity building of Liberian students, government officials and others. 

“I convey our best wishes to the People and Government of Liberia for their all-around development and also for the further strengthening of the already existing very good bilateral relations between our two friendly countries,” said Amb. Yadav.

Liberia’s Vice President Madam Jewel Howard – Taylor and other Liberian officials, U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Mr. Michael A. McCarthy and other foreign diplomats attended the ceremony. 

The Indian Ambassador stated that the Government of India has also granted an all-time high of 70 fully paid scholarships under the India Technical and Economic Cooperation Program. 

Amb. Yadav detailed that four Liberian students would leave for India soon on fully paid scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in renowned universities under the Africa Scholarship Scheme.

He disclosed that a 14-member Liberian Chess Team, which included 3 young schoolgirls, had just returned from India after participating in the 44th Chess Olympiad. 

Recently, he said, two officers from the Armed Forces of Liberia returned from India after attending specialized military training. 

“More officers are expected to avail such [training] later this year,” he added. 

From time to time, Amb. Yadav continued, that the Indian Government has also extended various grants and gifts to friendly Liberia in cash and kind. 

India, through its indigenously developed Covaxin and Covishield vaccines, not only successfully controlled the spread of Covid-19 in India but also helped many friendly countries including Liberia with the supply of these vaccines and other medical supplies, said Amb. Yadav.

He noted that the Indian Embassy near Monrovia has been making its best efforts to upgrade India’s bilateral relations with friendly Liberia. 

Post-Covid, he said India has regained its place as a favored destination for affordable and quality higher education and medical treatment among Liberians. 

“The bilateral trade during the year 2021-22 has gone up by a good US$ 35.65 million,” said Amb. Yadav. 

The Indian Envoy indicated that not only did India’s exports to Liberia go up, but Liberia’s exports to India also rose three-fold during the last year. 

Further, Amb. Yadav stated that India is working with different agencies to realize the full potential of India-Liberia bilateral trade. 

Gracing the ceremony, Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., Liberia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed delight to join Amb. Yadav and the over 2,000 Indians resident in Liberia in observing India’s 75th Independence Anniversary.

“History recalls how the unfurling of the flag of an independent and sovereign India, on August 15, 1947, further the effort; in igniting the spirit of freedom and inspired the movement for independence and self-rule by peoples subjugated to colonial rule around the world,” said Amb. Kemayah.

He said India has since continued to promote self-dignity and self-determination through peaceful and non-violent means, popularly known as ahimsa. 

“Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence was made popular by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in breaking the bond of segregation in the United States of America,” Amb. Kemayah added.

He said he is pleased with the growing strength of the bilateral relations between Liberia and India, which continues to be traditionally strong, cordial and friendly. 

“Since the establishment of our friendly ties, both countries have developed much closer and extensive cooperation in trade, para-military and strategic fields,” said Amb. Kemayah.

The Liberian Foreign Minister expressed deep appreciation and gratitude for India’s enormous assistance to the Government and People of Liberia in a wide range of areas.

He said they include but are not limited to education, health, security and transportation, all geared towards enhancing the development initiatives of the Liberian Government. 

“We are equally pleased [with] the opening of a resident Indian Embassy near Monrovia, which will further enhance the cooperation and friendship between our two countries and peoples,” said Amb. Kemayah. 

In the same vein, Foreign Minister Kemayah reaffirmed the Liberian Government’s recognition and commendation of Indian businessman and philanthropist Mr. Upjit Singh Sachdeva ( Mr. Jeety)  for his immense contribution in strengthening the bilateral ties subsisting between Liberia and India.

“The Government of Liberia, particularly, reaffirms its recognition and commendation of Mr. Upjit Singh Sachdeva, an Indian Business National resident in Liberia, commonly known as Jetty,” said Minister Kemayah.

He noted that Mr. Jeety served as Honorary Consul-General of the Republic of India in Liberia for more than two decades during which he immensely contributed to the strengthening of the bilateral ties between Liberia and India.

Minister Kemayah stated that Mr. Jeety, now a private Indian Businessman, is contributing towards the further strengthening of bilateral relations between the Governments and Peoples of Liberia and India. 

“We also reaffirm the Government of Liberia’s unwavering commitment to the continuous protection of the over 2,000 Indian nationals residing in Liberia, and the creation of an enabling business environment,” said Amb. Kemayah.

Source of original article: Liberia news The New Dawn Liberia, premier resource for latest news (thenewdawnliberia.com).
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