By Mark N. Mengonfia-

Ambassador Laurent Delahousse, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Liberia has praised the Government of Liberia for its efforts in maintaining peace in the Economic Community West African States nations.

In his opening remarks at the 11th EU-Liberia Partnership Dialogue, Ambassador Delahousse said, “I already mentioned the Russian war on Ukraine and Liberia has also been very active on the security situation in the Sahel and the political transitions in West Africa.”

He quoted what he called the message of leadership and wisdom of President George Manneh Weah, last year in Congress, which states, “Liberia will remain a pillar of democracy on the African continent, availing its willingness to remain a part of the global coalition in defense of democracy in the world.”

The European Union head of delegation commended the leadership of Liberia in contributing to defending and restoring peace, security, stability, democracy, and constitutional order, through ECOWAS.

He listed Liberia’s sisterly Republics which include, Guinea, Mali, and now Burkina Faso as areas that have benefited from the intervention of Liberia.

“The European Union and its member states stand at your side in this endeavor,” Amb. Delahousse said.

Speaking on the upcoming October Elections in Liberia, he said EU through its Chargé d’Affaires of Ireland has expressed confidence that the elections can and will be organized to be peaceful, free, fair, transparent, inclusive and credible.

“The EU will call on all stakeholders to respect one another, to campaign in peace and to respect the results of the elections results,” he said.

He expressed confidence that the people of Liberia will choose freely their leaders stating, “We hope that those leaders will put the interests of the people before their own and enforce the basic principle of democracy, which is, that politics is the most noble occupation when its first goal is to help and serve the people, not to help and serve oneself first.”

According to the EU envoy, the institution he represents and its member states stand ready to support the future development strategy of the Government of Liberia that will result from the elections adding, “just as we have been fervent supporters of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.”

He also highlighted the issue of the human rights situation in Liberia indicating, “We feel that this situation is good in general and we will discuss specific matters such as sexual and gender-based violence, female genital mutilation or the abolition of the death penalty.”

He furthered, “We will raise the issue of impunity, since recent cases, around drug smuggling or the logging activities of the Renaissance group, raise questions on the integrity of some aspects of the functioning of the Liberian State and justice system.”

Additionally, as part of what they discussed at the 11th EU-Liberia Partnership Dialogue, the EU was the business and investment climate indicating that, “We feel that Liberia can and should make better use of its vast natural resources and of the skills, ingenuity and dedication of its wonderful people.”

One of the things he promised was that Europe and its companies are determined to contribute to the development of the private sector of the Liberian economy.

“We will address two more issues around passports and visas, at the request of the Liberian Government, in order to facilitate the access of Liberians and their officials to the European territory,” he said.

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