Amb. Sheriff positive about Liberia, UK relations

The Queen welcomes Ambassador Sheriff to Buckingham Palace

Liberia’s ambassador accredited to the Court of Saint James, Dr. S. Mohammed Sheriff, has recounted the historically productive ties that define the relationship between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the Republic of Liberia.

Speaking last month when he presented credentials to Queen Elizabeth II, Ambassador Sheriff promised to explore new possibilities while deepening understanding and collaboration that will ensure  mutually beneficial outcomes for the peoples of both nations.

At the ceremony held in the Bow Room at Buckingham Palace, Dr. Sheriff conveyed warm sentiments to the queen and people of Great Britain on behalf of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Ambassador Sheriff applauded the stewardship of the queen in directing the vision of the United Kingdom as the country consolidates global peace and strengthens democratic governance worldwide as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

He asserted that Liberia continues to witness rapid transformation under the dynamic  stewardship of President Sirleaf.

The ambassador stressed that the recent dedication of the Mount Coffee Hydro and the country’s extensive road and infrastructural development represent a significant partnership between the Liberian government and the international community.

Dr.  Sheriff added that the case for British government’s commitment to Liberia Road Reconstruction Pool Fund was also detailed in a presentation to Britian’s minister for Africa during President Sirleaf’s recent visit to the UK.

In remarks later at a reception held later at the Embassy of Liberia, Ambassador Sheriff extolled his late colleague and predecessor Rudolf von Ballmoos with whom he had a personal friendship  and shared fond memories since their youthful days in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, and within the Liberian foreign service.

He hailed the widow of the fallen Liberian diplomat, Mrs. Angie von Ballmoos who was present during the event.

Dr. Sheriff indicated that he will be guided by Liberia’s development diplomacy paradigm, seeking to increase the stake of British investment in Liberia – highlighting support for Liberia’s health, agriculture and education reforms; assuring this will guarantee a skilled and vibrant workforce to drive Liberia’s development.

Liberia, Dr Sheriff insisted, is heralded as a pluralistic environment upholding civil liberties including freedom of speech and the press, and thriving political space.

He noted that the Vision 2030, a forward looking national agenda, crystallises a long term national development roadmap that explains the direction of the Liberian state as  expressed nationwide; effectively addressing the ad-hoc approach that has saddled national development.

Also speaking, UK’s Marshall of the Diplomatic Corp, Alistair Harrison praised the strong will of the Liberian people towards ensuring a better future free of the vestiges the past.

He noted that the UK remains a reliable partner with the people of Liberia across varying sectors, building the blocks of a productive and peaceful society anchored on the rule of law and democratic governance.

He also paid tribute to the late Ambassador Ballmoos for his services  to the country and recommitted the UK support to the Liberia’s new top diplomat in the country as the two countries forge deeper collaboration.

Mr. Harrison, a former United Nations official, said Liberia has moved rapidly beyond the stark realities that hunted it more that fifteen years ago; hailing the foresight of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for leveraging her years of experience with the United Nations and other international bodies to chart a productive course for Liberia and its people.

Sustained Engagement with Liberian Organisations

Meanwhile, Ambassador Sheriff, a distinguished public servant who last represented Liberia  in Rome, Italy, intimated that the London Mission will remain engaged with the Liberian communities and the Diaspora.

The Liberian Diaspora constitutes a crucial component of the economic development of Liberia, he noted. 

Liberians in the Diaspora, he said, are ambassadors of Liberia and therefore they should be circumspect of all that they do because such can have an impact on the image of Liberia (either in a positive manner or a negative way), adding that national development must therefore be their common purpose.

He admonished them to reconcile irrespective of their common ethnic differences and be peace loving.

The embassy will ensure its core responsibilities as we “collectively seek Liberia’s interests away from home,” Ambassador Sheriff emphasised.

The ambassador added that Liberia’s future will be secured by the steadfastness, dedication and commitment of all Liberians.

This is the underlying theme at heart of the thoughts we have been privileged to roll-out to the well coordinated and communities of Liberian groupings in the United Kingdom, he stressed.

Deepening South-South Triangular Cooperation

Relations with Liberia’s neighbours remain at an all-time high in peace and stability, thanks to an all embracing and effective foreign policy agenda being spear-headed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, along with her counterparts in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire.

Ambassador Sheriff  upon arrival at post, immediately paid a courtesy call on the Dean of Ambassadors, other colleagues and with particular attention of the Mano River Union, ECOWAS and then the African Union countries to consolidate the spirit of regional, sub regional and continental cohesion  sharing notes on common purpose for Africa’s common position on bilateral and multilateral global issues. 

He highlighted the south-south triangular collaboration as an effective way to enhance the transformative economic development of President Sirleaf.

Ambassador Sheriff assured his colleagues of the MRU of his commitment in promoting the spirit of regional collaboration already being cemented at the highest level of the heads of state of the MRU. Such sustained collaboration is indeed crucial for synergy and productive engagement for peace and security in the sub-region.

The excellencies commended President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as a mother and key embodiment of the stability of the sub-region. They applauded the heads of state of the sub-region for the pace of the ongoing infrastructural development in the sub-region to ease road transport between Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea- a catalyst to strengthening commerce and trade- an ideal principle of the MRU.

In light of the spirit of Pan Africanism, Ambassador Dr Sheriff also extended his courtesy calls onto other diplomats from the continent as well as other nations, stressing the need to promote Liberia’s transformative agenda as well as to strengthen the existing bilateral and multilateral agreements for economic recovery and development.  

Ambassador Sheriff affirmed the strategic nature of the ties their countries continue to share and the need to consolidate their positions on matters pertaining to their respective countries and the African Continent.


Albert Kjlatoe Jaja