President Sirleaf Receives Letters of Credence from New Ambassadors; European Union, H.E. Ms. Tiina Intelmann and Japanís H.E. Mr. Kaoru Yoshimura

Monday, 19th January 2015
President Sireaf and new Japanese Ambassador discuss after presenting his Letters of Credence on Monday, January 19, 2015.
President Sireaf and new Japanese Ambassador discuss after presenting his Letters of Credence on Monday, January 19, 2015.
Photo Credit: James M.Garresen / Executive Mansion

Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has received the Letters of Credence of the new Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the European Union (EU) H.E. Ms. Tiina Intelmann and Japan accredited to Liberia respectively, Her Excellency Ms. Tiina Intelmann and His Excellency Mr. Kaoru Yoshimura.


EU Ambassador Intelmann is resident in Monrovia, Liberia while the Japanese Ambassador Yoshimura is resident in Accra, Ghana.


According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader received the two new Ambassadors at separate ceremonies at her Foreign Ministry office on Monday, January 19, 2015.


Receiving the new European Union Ambassador at the earlier ceremony, President Sirleaf expressed appreciation on behalf of the Liberian Government and people for the EU’s long standing friendship and solidarity with Liberia and its people.


She noted that the EU is one of Liberia’s primary partners and that the relationship goes a long way stressing that the EU has stood with Liberia since the rebuilding process of the country began at the end of the civil war. “The EU has supported Liberia through the UN’s support to the country’s peace process and also provided resources including direct budget support. You have shown confidence in Liberia and entered a Voluntary Partnership Agreement with Liberia and initiated support for our fishery sector,” President Sirleaf indicated.


The Liberian leader indicated that the country has faced various challenges including the Ebola outbreak; but was grateful that despite the grim challenges, Ambassador Intelmann was able to come and take up her assignment. She indicated that the EU’s support to organizations such as ECOWAS, the African Union, and others enabled them to play a pivotal role in Liberia’s Ebola fight and expressed confidence that disease will be beaten out of Liberia soon.


For her part, Ambassador Intelmann expressed excitement to be in Liberia and recounted her years of service at the United Nations were many issues pertaining to Liberia were handled. “At the UN, we heard many good things about Liberia beyond the Ebola crisis. I am glad to be here because the EU’s relations with Liberia are excellent and historical thus I look forward to working together with the government being in the driving seat,” Ambassador Intelmann said.


She also pointed out that the EU’s attention is now focused on plans for the post-Ebola period to help the country get back on its feet and expressed interest in continuing the political dialogue started long before the crisis.


In the latter ceremony, receiving the Letters of Credence of the new Japanese Ambassador to Liberia, His Excellency Mr. Kaoru Yoshimura, President Sirleaf welcomed him to Liberia and acknowledged the excellent relations existing between Liberia and Japan.


She further reflected on key events of the relations dating back to the 1960s and 1970s to include a visit to Japan in 1960 and the christening of a Firestone boat in 1970.


She acknowledged that the conflict in Liberia stalled the relationship, but stressed that Japan has given Liberia a lot of support since the end of the civil conflict, including bilateral support. She identified the Liberia/Japanese Friendship Hospital at the John F Kennedy Medical Center, support to the energy programs of the government, road works, particularly the Somalia Drive project as key interventions made by Japan to the country infrastructure program.


President Sirleaf noted that Japan has stood with Liberia throughout the Ebola crisis through its support to many international organizations responding to the crisis.


Presenting his Letters of Credence earlier, Ambassador Yoshimura conveyed a message of support and solidarity from the Emperor of Japan during what he called a difficult moment in Liberia’s history due to the Ebola outbreak and expressed how pleased he was to be in Liberia.


“I am excited about the long history of friendship between our two countries. I want to also express our sympathy and condolence to the Liberian people for the tragedy brought upon them by the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus disease,” he said.


He assured President Sirleaf of his support, commitment and cooperation during his tenure as the new Japanese Ambassador to Liberia and acknowledged the strong leadership qualities exhibited by the Liberian President during the Ebola crisis. He said Japan remains supportive till the zero case targeted is reached and is prepared to contribute to the country’s post-conflict recovery plan, adding that Ebola was a setback but the country is now overcoming.


The new Japanese Ambassador indicated that he has assurance from the Emperor and Prime Minister of Japan about all the support needed to make his tenure in Liberia fruitful and successful and pledged his personal commitment to strengthening the existing friendship between the two countries.


He also pledged to stand with Liberia in all its endeavors including finishing battle to eradicate the deadly Ebola virus disease from Liberia.