Liberia on Tuesday announced its intention to establish an embassy in Israel.
The West African country’s President George Weah told Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen of the plan during a meeting in Jerusalem.
“I welcome Liberia’s intention to open an embassy in Israel, which will deepen the ties of friendship between the countries. Liberia is one of Israel’s great friends on the African continent,” Cohen said.
“I thanked the president of Liberia, George Weah, for their support for Israel in the international institutions and we agreed that we will work together to deepen economic cooperation in the fields of energy, agriculture and water, using Israeli knowledge and experience and promoting commercial delegations in Israel and Liberia,” Cohen continued.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that “Liberia is one of Israel’s great friends on the African continent and stands by it in votes in international organizations. Promoting economic, energetic and agricultural cooperation.”
Last year, Liberia announced the opening of a trade office in Jerusalem, which it said would eventually become the country’s first embassy in Israel.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog earlier on Tuesday met in Jerusalem with Weah, who headed a delegation including several ministers from the African country.
Herzog emphasized that it was important for Liberia to open a permanent embassy in Israel, as it would greatly increase the opportunities for cooperation.
“We are so honored to have you with us. I believe the potential of the relationship between Israel and Liberia is enormous, and your visit here is a token of friendship and this great potential,” said Herzog ahead of a working meeting.
The Israeli president noted that Weah had enjoyed a successful career as an internationally renowned soccer star for teams in France, Italy and England, scoring more than 200 goals for his clubs and country.
“There is much excitement and interest in your visit and experience. We mix love of the Bible, love of Israel, love of Liberia and love of sport,” said Herzog.
“There are so many issues we can work on together, there is a need to advance cooperation in agriculture as soon as possible, and we spoke about other fields of interest including health, defense and foreign affairs. There are many issues that can be upgraded dramatically,” said Herzog.
Weah expressed appreciation for the warm welcome, saying, “We are very excited to be here in Israel. I always promised you that I would come to Israel, and I am here today. We are working together as friends.
“I am here with a delegation of ministers who understand that we have made a promise to our people, and we have to fulfill it. We want to work with Israel so we can continue to succeed,” continued Weah.
The leaders thereafter held an in-depth discussion on ways to increase bilateral cooperation, including efforts to bring Liberian students to study advanced agricultural innovations in Israel.
Herzog reiterated the importance of Israel’s observer status in the African Union.
At the conclusion of their meeting, Weah reflected on his son’s signing for the Juventus FC soccer club in Turin.
“I put my note in the Western Wall to God, that Timothy will be the greatest player in the Italian league,” said Weah, who wished the Israeli Under-21 national team luck in its Wednesday semifinal match against England at the European Championship.
In March 2019, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Weah in Jerusalem, as Israel continued to expand its outreach in Africa.
Netanyahu, who visited the Liberian capital of Monrovia in June 2017 to participate in a conference of the Economic Community of West African States, said at the time: “Israel is returning to Africa in a big way. Africa is coming to Israel, and the entire world is coming to Israel. We are turning Israel into a rising global power.”