New Delhi: President of the Republic of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, will pay a five-day state visit to India beginning on Monday at the invitation of her Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee.
The President will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including the Liberian Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Agriculture, Commerce and Industry, Information, Culture and Tourism, Lands, Mines and Energy and Gender development, besides senior Government officials and representatives of apex trade bodies.
The Liberian President will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan on September 11. She will be received by President Mukherjee, who will also hold a banquet in her honour.
She will hold discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will call on the President of Liberia.
President Sirleaf will also address a business meeting jointly organised by FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM. The Indira Gandhi prize for peace, disarmament and development for the year 2012 will be conferred upon President Sirleaf on September 12.
The prize is being awarded to her for serving as an example and inspiration to women in Africa and beyond and for ensuring the return of peace, democracy and development in Liberia.
President Sirleaf will also deliver the annual Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial Lecture, sixth in the series. This annual lecture is organised by the Babu Jagjivan Ram National Foundation, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, to observe the birth anniversary of Babu Jagjivan Ram.
Relations between India and Liberia are close and friendly, marked by a growing economic engagement. Liberia’s rich natural resources and its on-going programme of infrastructure and industrial development, provide significant potential for enhancement of trade and investment ties between the two countries.
There is a considerable goodwill for India in Liberia. The Indian participation in the UN peace-keeping operations in Liberia and the deployment of a 125 member female CRPR unit, in particular, has been highly appreciated by the Government and people of Liberia.
President Sirleaf, a recipient of several prestigious awards including the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011, is a respected voice in the region. Liberia has been playing a pro-active role in the region to strengthen peace, democracy and regional integration. The visit of the President of Liberia is expected to lead to further expansion of bilateral engagement.