Liberia intends to open an official trade office in Jerusalem for the first time – a bureau destined to eventually become the nation’s de-facto embassy in Israel, according to Israeli media reports.
The announcement was made by a delegation of Liberian ministers, led by Prime Minister Nathaniel McGill, during a meeting with President Isaac Herzog and Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll.
“It was a pleasure hosting a ministerial delegation from the Republic of Liberia headed by Minister of State McGill,” Roll wrote on Twitter.
“I thanked the participants for Liberia's support of Israel in the UN and for its decision to open an official office in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital,” he added.
Liberia is expected to submit its application for the location of the office in Jerusalem to Israeli authorities in the coming weeks.
The small West African nation, with a population of 5 million people, is considered an important ally of Israel. The West African nation has stood by Israel at the United Nations and at the African Union in recent years.
The Liberian delegation visiting in Israel includes senior government members, such as the ministers of economy, trade and industry, information and agriculture. They took part in meetings at the Israeli Defense Ministry and were also welcomed by President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem.
African media outlets, quoted Herzog saying that Israel has a “special” relationship with Liberia and a “deep respect” for the nation. He added that Israel considers Liberia a “strategic partner in Africa” and will therefore work to ensure that the “strategic partnership is advanced for the betterment of both countries.”
In the meeting, the Israeli president reportedly expressed his desire to visit Liberia himself next year, saying that he wishes to follow in his “father’s footsteps”- a reference to the visit of former Israeli President Chaim Herzog to Liberia in 1984.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.