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Israel Wants Defense Ties Strengthened

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MONROVIA: In a bid to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation between Israel and Liberia, the Ambassador of the State of Israel to Ghana, Liberia and Sierra-Leone, Shlomit Sufa, and the Director for West African Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, Zvi Tal, paid a courtesy visit to B/G Geraldine Janet George (Retired), Minister of Defense, on 8 May 2024.

While welcoming the Ambassador of Israel to the Ministry of National Defense, Minister Geraldine Janet George sympathized with Israel regarding their current military conflict in Gaza.

For her part, the Israeli Ambassador said that the aims of the visit were to understand the challenges that Liberia is faced with in the defense sector and the strategic vision of the Ministry of National Defense (MOD) in order for Israel to ensure that the Ministry successfully achieves its long-term goals.

Responding, the Liberian Defense Minister briskly utilized the opportunity to recall with appreciation the numerous assistance offered by Israel to the Government and people of Liberia over the years, and presented three major requests for consideration: Construction of a new defense headquarters, provision of specialized intelligence training for the Department of Defense Intelligence (DDI) and assisting the Liberia Coast Guard (LCG) with well-equipped military patrol boats to enhance the LCG operations.

She iterated that Liberians can recollect that Israel assisted Liberia to establish the late President Tubman’s ‘Open Door Policy’ in the late 1950s that brought economic development to Liberia’s interior.

Besides, private Israeli businesses also implemented both large scale construction projects in Liberia. E.g.: Ducor Continental Hotel, Executive Mansion and the demolished Defense Ministry building projects.

The Defense Boss emphasized that Israel had also helped develop Liberia’s medical capabilities; and that Liberia in 1967, after the Six-Day War, was the first African country to move its embassy in Jerusalem, Israel.

Speaking further, Zvi Tal, Director for West African Affairs, briefly narrated the current Israeli conflict with Hamas.

Collaboration, shared challenges and the exploring of potential areas for improvement between Liberia and Israel were key points highlighted during the visit.

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