India offers Liberia two million dollars grant-in-aid

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Monrovia (Liberia), Sep.18 (ANI): India and Liberia issued a Joint Statement on Friday under which both countries have agreed to take their bilateral relations to the next level.

Visiting Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor offered extensive assistance in the form of lines of credit on concessional terms.

In addition, India also offered development assistance to Liberia to the tune of two million dollars as grant-in-aid for projects in the education and health sectors.

According to the Joint Statement, at the request of the Liberian side, India also offered to donate twenty five buses to augment the public transportation facilities of the Monrovia Transit Authority.

India also agreed to set up in Liberia an Information Technology and Communication (ICT) Centre of Excellence as per a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed by both parties.

To provide immediate impetus to IT education in Liberia, India will also set up in the short term two "Hole-in-the-Wall" computer education centres at sites to be identified by the Liberian side.

India also committed to assist Liberia in capacity building and training, particularly Liberian diplomats and policemen.

The Indian side agreed to consider the specific and special request to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs for capacity building by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Liberia.

Both sides decided to strengthen utilization of the ongoing programmes of capacity building such as the ITEC programme of the Government of India.

Liberia also agreed to send women to participate in the training programmes on solar energy development organized by India at the Barefoot College, Tilonia in Rajasthan.

India also appreciated the accession of Liberia to the India-Pan African e-network. Both sides agreed to work closely to bring the benefits of tele-education and tele-medicine to Liberian educational and medical institutions.

Liberia acknowledged India's offer to share its experience of nation building and economic development and expressed appreciation of the offer of lines of credit and development assistance.

In order to institutionalize and further strengthen the framework of bilateral cooperation, the two sides signed the Protocol on Foreign Office Consultations during the visit.

Both countries recognized the need for comprehensive reform of the United Nations and the expansion of the UN Security Council to make it more representative of existing world realities.

Liberia recognized the pioneering and substantive contribution of India towards UN activities particularly peace keeping.

Liberia also appreciated the role of the Indian contingent of UNMIL, particularly the first ever Indian Female Formed Police Unit (FFPU).

Liberia agreed to extend its support for India's candidature of the non permanent seat from the Asian Group for the period 2011-2012 for which elections are to be held in October 2010.

India appreciated the Liberian gesture of supporting its candidature for the UN seat.

The Liberian leadership reaffirmed its strong condemnation of the terrorist attacks perpetrated in Mumbai last year and reiterated the need for intensifying global cooperation in combating international terrorism.

Liberia agreed to support India's efforts towards the early conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism within the UN framework.

During the four-day visit that ends Saturday, Dr.Tharoor, who was accompanied by a twelve member delegation, called on Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and reviewed bilateral relations and discussed measures to intensify the relations.

Dr. Tharoor also held extensive talks with his Liberian counterpart William V S Bull, and with the Ministers of Justice, Agriculture, Education, Telecommunication, Commerce and Industry and the Chairman of the National Investment Commission.

Vice President Dr Joseph N Boakai hosted a dinner for the visiting Indian delegation. (ANI)

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