The Libyan Government has denoted 13 agricultural tractors to Liberia as part ongoing efforts to re-establish severed ties between both nations.
The Government of Liberia through Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan last December disclosed that the once severed Liberia-Libya diplomatic relations has been restored.
Liberia on 14 June 2011 severed diplomatic relations with Libya then under the leadership of slain Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi as NATO air raids continued that North African country in a bid to oust Gaddafi.
In the wake of the falling apart of the Gaddafi regime government then announced that it was severing diplomatic relations with Libya and with immediate effect withdrew the Liberian Ambassador and diplomatic staff from the Libyan capital, Tripoli. But with the ties now restored, Libya has taken the first giant step in contributing to the rebuilding efforts of Liberia by donating tractors to boost the country's agric sector.
The brief ceremony took place in the compound of the Libyan Embassy in Sinkor on Monday, February 11, 2013, the Foreign Ministry said.
Mr. Mohamed Salem Salim, Minister Plenipotentiary for Africa in the Libyan Foreign Affairs, made the donation on behalf of his government. He told Liberian Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan that the Libyan people were happy to present the gifts that would contribute to Liberia's food production.
Salim expressed his fullest enthusiasm that as both countries work towards rebuilding diplomatic ties, the donation will serve as the beginning of a new relationship between Liberia and Libya.
Thanking the Liberian people for their support during Libya's uprising, the Libyan official added: "I assure you of great appreciation from the Libyan people for the very good relation and support you Liberians provided to us during the Libyan revolution."
Foreign Minister Ngafuan, for his part, described the donation of the tractors as a success arrival.
"This has been a long road filled with challenges but we don't look at the length but the destination", Minister Ngafuan noted.
He revealed that the tractors should have been donated about two years ago but the situation in Libya at the time placed a temporary halt to it.
Foreign Minister Ngafuan then recounted both nations' effort aimed at re-establishing ties during a side-by bilateral discussion held in July of last year in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Earlier, Dr. Musstfa Ali Elbagdadi, Managing Director of the Libyan African Investment Company, who introduced the Libyan delegation, emphasized the need for the tractors to be used for cultivation.
He stated that this followed a joint effort from both sides to get excess of the equipment and machinery. He disclosed that relevant officials in Libya were contacted at the time but the fact that the Libyan people are slowly re-organizing themselves caused the delay in the donation.
Mr. Charles McClain, Acting Agriculture Minister, expressed joy over the donation. He on behalf of the Liberian farmers thanked the Libyan Government, adding that the farmers in Liberia have been waiting anxiously for these tractors.
"These tractors will enable them to produce more food which will help to make Liberia a mechanized country", the Acting Agriculture Minister concluded.