The outgoing Ambassador of France to Liberia, His Excellency Gerard Larome, paid a farewell courtesy call on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at her Congo Town residence on Thursday, October 17.
According to an Executive Mansion release, Mr. Larome, who presented his Letters of Credence to President Sirleaf in December 2009, informed her that he will depart on October 23rd, with his successor arriving shortly thereafter.
Ambassador Larome told the President that Liberia means a lot to him, that he likes the way in which she runs the country, and that he hopes to return in a private business consulting capacity. The Ambassador used the occasion to draw to the President’s attention a number of pending issues he hoped could be decided before his departure.
Responding, President Sirleaf said that she was sad to see the Ambassador go, because he had worked very closely with her administration, keeping officials informed. Because of him, the President said, she had photographs of herself with three French Presidents – Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the most recent being President François Hollande who, in November 2012, bestowed upon her France’s highest award and public distinction, the Grand Croix of the Légion d’Honneur.
One regret, said Madam Sirleaf, was that there had not been much French investment in the country, the Total service stations being an exception. The fact that Ambassador Larome planned to return to Liberia and to attract French businesses to the country was a good signal, she said. She looked forward to his return in the coming months.