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|Liberia's U.S. Amb. Joins 19 Others On Fact-Finding Mission To Israel|
|Published on August 10, 2011||Email To Friend Print Version
Liberia's ambassador to the United States William Bull was among 19 Washington-based ambassadors and one other senior diplomat who met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, the second day of a five-day fact-finding mission to Israel and the West Bank organized by The Israel Project (TIP).
Ambassador Bull has been joined by his wife Cecelia Zina Freeman on the mission which includes meetings with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon and opposition leader Tzipi Livni.
The group will also meet with visiting U.S. Congressmen and the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, a dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Washington noted.
A packed schedule also features visits to holy sites in Jerusalem and a helicopter ride over the northern and southern borders of Israel during which the envoys will see some of the country's strategic defense challenges and security threats.
Meetings, according to the dispatch, are also planned with entrepreneurs and innovators in alternative energy, agriculture, medicine and environmental services as well as a visit to Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) which since 1958 has provided development training to more than 200,000 people from around the world.
The ambassadors will also learn about Israel's humanitarian programs that respond to natural disasters around the world and explore opportunities for bilateral trade.
On August 9 the group, representing nations in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas met with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah as well as Sir Ronald Cohen of the Portland Trust, a British non-profit which promotes Palestinian economic development. A recent poll by The Israel Project showed that job creation is the top priority for Palestinians.
“We are deeply honored that these distinguished ambassadors have joined us on this fact-finding mission,” said TIP Founder and President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi.
Israel and Liberia have enjoyed warm relations for decades. After most of Africa cut diplomatic ties with Israel under Arab pressure following the 1973 war, Liberia was the first nation to resume relations in 1983. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf called the Israeli-Liberian relationship an “age-old friendship.”
The Israeli Diamond Institute signed a strategic bilateral economic cooperation agreement with Liberia in 2007 to help the country establish a stable diamond infrastructure, the first such deal after the United Nations lifted a six-year moratorium on the mining and exports of diamonds from Liberia.
The TIP mission comes in the run-up to important debates about the Middle East expected to take place at the United Nations this fall.
U.S. President Barak Obama recently stated there are no alternatives to peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians and that one-sided Palestinian moves will not achieve peace or stability.
The Israel Project is an American non-profit educational organization that provides facts, analysis and background information about Israel and the Middle East to the media, public officials and the public.
TIP also reaches out to Palestinians and other Arabs in Arabic through its “People to People” Peace program which works to open hearts and minds in the Arab world toward peace and a better future for both sides.
More than 100,000,000 people in the Arab world have signed up as “fans” of the TIP Arabic Facebook page, “Israel Uncensored” which was launched only two months ago.
The other diplomats taking part in the mission are: Albania: Ambassador Gilbert Galanxhi and Etleva Galanxhi' Bahamas: Ambassador Cornelius Alvin Smith and Clara Elizabeth Smith; Barbados: Ambassador John E. Beale and Leila Mol Beale; Belize: Ambassador Nestor Enrique Mendez and Elvira Rosela Mendez; Benin: Ambassador Sagbe Cyrille Oguin and Hortense Dossa Oguin; Bosnia and Herzegovina: Miroslav Vujicic, Chief of the Cabinet of the Chairman of the Presidency; Burkina Faso: Ambassador Paramanga Ernest Yonli; Dominica: Ambassador Hubert John Charles; Dominican Republic: Ambassador Anibal De Castro; Grenada: Ambassador Gillian Margaret Susan Bristol; Haiti: Ambassador Louis Harold Joseph; Macedonia: Ambassador Zoran Jolevski and Suzana Jolevska and Mongolian Ambassador Bekhbat Khasbazar.
Others are Montenegro: Ambassador Srdjan Darmanovic and Aneta Spaic, Slovakia: Ambassador Peter Burian and Nina Burianova, St. Lucia: Ambassador Michael Louis, Timor-Leste: Ambassador Constancio C. Pinto, Trinidad & Tobago: Ambassador Neil Parsan, and Uganda's Ambassador Perezi Kanunanwire and Carolyn Hubbard-Kamunanwire.