MONROVIA, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28TH. 2012: Liberia’s Foreign Minister, His Excellency Mr. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan has assured the Cameroonian Ambassador here that Liberia will continue to maintain and strengthen its relations with Cameroon.
“During my tenure here as Foreign Minister, we will explore ways of strengthening relations and you will receive my fullest cooperation,” Minister Kpehe Ngafuan assured the Cameroon diplomat.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, Minister Kpehe Ngafuan made the commitment Tuesday, when the Ambassador of Cameroon to Liberia, His Excellency Beng’yela Augustine Gang paid him a courtesy call at his Foreign Ministry office. He is the first foreign diplomat accredited here to officially meet with the new Foreign Minister.
During the courtesy call, Ambassador Gang congratulated the new Foreign Minister for his preferment and used the occasion to highlight issues of bilateral cooperation and diplomatic relations between both countries. “We should be concerned about stepping up the level of our relations for the mutual benefit of our two countries,” he said.
The Cameroon Ambassador urged the Foreign Minister Kpehe Ngafuan to study the possibility of initiating a Framework at the Joint Commission level involving the two countries. He named agriculture, mining, culture, education, administration and decentralization as areas of cooperation that the two countries could explore.
For his part, Foreign Minister Kpehe Ngafuan indicated that as the Liberia’s Foreign Policy focus is now “development diplomacy”, his task will be mainly to use foreign relations to consolidate the economy. He stressed the hope of strengthening the Ministry’s Bureau of International Cooperation and Economic Integration, which he termed the link to “development diplomacy”. “Those things of facilitating contact at the technical level between parallel institutions, we hope to work on some of those,” he noted.
At the diplomatic level, the Cameroon Ambassador reiterated the need for Liberia to upgrade its representation to probably the Ambassadorial level. Currently, Liberia’s Mission accredited near Yaoundé, Cameroon is headed by a Charges d’Affaires, at interim.
Minister Kpehe Ngafuan indicated that Government rationalized its Missions around the world at the time because of the cost of maintaining a Mission abroad and the minimal budget that this Government inherited at the time. However, he assured the Cameroon envoy that as Liberia’s budget increases, issues like this will be given due consideration.
Relations between Liberia and Cameroon dates back more than 50 years ago during the tenure of Presidents William V. S. Tubman of Liberia and Ahmadou Ahidjo of the Republic of Cameroon. Liberia was the first country to recognize the independence of Cameroon on January 1, 1960. Since then, relations between both countries have been excellent.
J. Wesley Washington
ASSISTANT MINISTER/PUBLIC AFFAIRS (Outgoing)
(+231) 886.512.460 / 777.512.460