23 May 2012

Liberia: Govt and Botswana Sign Bilateral Partnership Framework Agreement

Liberia's Minister of Foreign Affairs and his Botswana counterpart, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, signed a Bilateral Partnership Framework Agreement on behalf of the two governments. Mr. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan signed on behalf of the Government of Liberia, while Mr. Phandu Skelemani signed on behalf of the Government of Botswana.

According to a dispatch from Gaborone, a Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation was constituted by the two countries and will be responsible for the effective implementation of the Bilateral Partnership Framework Agreement.

Speaking at the signing ceremony at the Botswana Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Gaborone, Minister Skelemani said the historic event has committed the two governments towards further deepening the existing level of cooperation between the two countries.

He said the signing of the Agreement is a reflection of the strong desire and determination to expand the scope of the bilateral cooperation, further emphasizing the importance of operationalizing the Joint Commission so that the Agreement can be translated into tangible programs and projects that will benefit the peoples of both countries.

Mr. Skelemani pledged that his country will host the first session of the Joint Commission as soon as practicable.

For his part, Liberia's Foreign Minister Ngafuan indicated that the two Presidents have done their part with the exchange of visits. It is now left with the Joint Commission to move the terms of the Agreement forward.

He charged Liberia's Ambassador to Botswana, Cllr. Lois Bruthus, to ensure the holding of the Joint Commission meeting. "This kind of cooperation between the West African State of Liberia and the Southern African State of Botswana is a fine example of South-South Cooperation," Minister Ngafuan said.

Areas targeted in the Bilateral Partnership Framework Agreement include trade and industry; agriculture, animal husbandry and livestock; natural resources, conservation and the environment; mining and minerals; energy; transport and communication; youth and sports; security and defense; exchange of scientific and technical knowledge and experts, amongst others.

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