MONROVIA, July 10 (LINA) -- Liberia's Ambassador to France, Dr. C. William Allen, has presented his Letters of Credence to the President of the Republic of France, Francois Hollande.
The presentation ceremony took place on Tuesday, July 8, at the Champs Elysees Palace, the seat of the French Presidency, according to a dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in France.
Ambassador Allen thanked President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for appointing him to serve as Ambassador to France and assured the Liberian leader that he will uphold the confidence reposed in him and go beyond the call of duty to represent the interest of the country.
Ambassador Allen said Liberia remains grateful to the people of France for their numerous support to the country during this period of recovery from the 14 years of civil conflict.
He cited French financial and material contributions to the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and their support for Liberia's debt waiver, donation of non-lethal weapons to the Liberia National Police (LNP), among other support to other Liberian institutions.
Ambassador Allen welcomed the recent decision of the French Development Agency to resume activities in Liberia with support for the country's energy sector, particularly in the areas of transmission and distribution.
He said Liberia would like to see more French support for programs that promote regional integration and unity among Mano River Union and ECOWAS countries such as infrastructure projects funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The Liberian envoy called for more support to the Institute of French Studies and Alliance Francaise, which promote and provide instruction in the French language and culture.
He said Alliance Francaise has played a key role in educating Liberian students, educators and diplomats in the French language, thus promoting the understanding of the French language among Liberians.
He also urged the French Government to consider expanding its Consular Services in Liberia to include the issuance of Schengen visas.
Receiving the letters, French President Francois Hollande, in a brief remark, lauded President Sirleaf and the people of Liberia for assisting to restore peace in Mali by contributing a peacekeeping contingent to that sisterly West African Country.
President Hollande said the Liberian peacekeeping contingent is helping to restore peace in Mali and that their efforts are worthy of commendation.
He added that the presence of the French Development Agency in Liberia will further promote French-Liberian relations and assist Liberia in its post-conflict recovery.
Liberia and France have enjoyed cordial relations since 1852 when France recognized Liberia as an independent country.
The new Liberian Ambassador to France is former President of the Press Union of Liberia, former Director General of the Civil Service Agency and former Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism of Liberia.
He holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Mass Communication from Syracuse University in USA, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from California State University and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from the Pulliam School of Journalism, Franklin College.